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Bectrical World "^ Engineering News-Record 
Power V Engineering and Mining Journal-Press 
Chemical and Metallurgical Engineering 
Electric Railway Journal v Coal Age 
American Machinist ^ Ingenieria Intemacional 
Electrical Merchandising v BusTransportation 
Journal of Electricity and Western Industry 
Industrial Engineer 






Vice President and Art Director in Chief of the Ethridge Company. 

First Edition 
Second Impression 


LONDON: 6 & 8 BOUVERIE ST., E. C. 4 


Copyright, 1925, by the 
McGraw-Hill Book Company-, Inc. 



If l^^-l 


This book is intended as a helpfully constructive treatise on 
the use of Art to increase the effectiveness of Advertising. It 
will be of special interest to the advertising manager, the adver- 
tising copy-writer and the artist, as well as to business executives 
who direct their own advertising campaigns. 

Art in advertising cannot be separated from advertising copy 
nor from the advertising problem, as a whole. In the present 
book, an attempt is made to consider advertising illustrations 
in their relation to copy, to the product, to the market and to 
the psychology of the consuming public. 

While the author has spent a life-time in this one field, he 
cannot claim a completely authoritative knowledge of the 
science of advertising illustration. Opinions still differ widely 
as to what is good and what is bad and, consequently, the per- 
sonal viewpoint is inevitable. 

Certain fundamentals there are, however, which can, and 
should be, looked upon as almost inflexible, and no apologies are 
here made for such emphasis as has been placed upon them. 
They are the children of experience. 

The book discusses advertising illustration as it is reflected 
in magazines and newspapers. Outdoor advertising art, direct- 
mail and trade-periodical problems are not included because 
these fields present special problems beyond the immediate 
scope of this volume. 

The very fact that advertisements and illustrations from 
advertisements segregated from their text, are reproduced, is 
sufficient evidence of their merit. They were selected for show- 
ing here, because they represented striking examples of the 
most modern, the most effective. Each, in itself, is an ''acknowl- 
edgement," to the finn or the person sponsoring it. 


There has been no previous attempt, to our knowledge, to 
present, in book form, a practical, working resume of demands 
and fundamentals of modern advertising art. It is believed that 
the facts herein given will be of a helpful character. 

W. Livingston Larned. 
New York, 
January, 1925. 


Preface , 



I. Introduction *■ 

II. Preliminary Sketches ^ 

III. Significance of Composition 12 

IV. Selecting the Illustrative Theme 21 

V. Adapting the Art Medium 26 

VI. Continuity ^'* 

VII. Distinctive Technique for Serialization 43 

VIII. Directing the Eye ^^ 

IX. The Illustration as the Advertisement 64 

X. Illustrative Borders and Mortises 72 

XI. Display Counter Ideas 83 

Xll. Importance of White Areas 91 

XIII. Strategic Use of Black Areas 101 

XIV. The Angle of Perspective. 


XV. The Product in Heroic Size 120 

XVI. Outline Technique 128 

XVII. Glorifying the Homely Product 136 

XVIII. Atmospheric Backgrounds 1"*^ 

XIX. Vignettes ^^3 

XX. Bringing Trade Marks to Life 159 

XXI. Animating the Inanimate 1^8 

XXII. The Attention-compelling Theme 1'6 

XXIII. Suggesting the Product by Inference 185 

XXIV. Negative Illustrations 192 

XXV. Poster Value in the Picture 201 

XXVI. When the Product Dominates 209 

XXVII. Melodramatic Action 215 

XXVIII. Character Study .224 

XXIX. The Human Interest Illustration 233 

XXX. Distinctiveness in Pen Drawings 242 

XXXI. Applications op the Woodcut Technique 255 

XXXII. Half-tone Subjects Interpreted IN Line 67 

XXXIII. Illustrations in Pencil, Crayon and Drybrush . . 272 

XXXIV. Mechanical Shading Methods 282 

XXXV. The Humorous Motif 291 

XXXVI. History as the Subject Material 299 

XXXVI . The Photographic Illustration 


Index ^^^ 




Advertisers are periodically called upon to decide whether or 
not their campaigns shall be illustrated. The most ardent 
supporters of pictures in advertising will admit that occasions 
arise and peculiar conditions develop, which call for all-type dis- 
play. To use illustrations for the sake of "having pictures in the 
advertisement" is a false premise and folly. Why then, are 
embellishments employed at all? What functions are obligatory? 
What useful selling purpose is achieved? 

Every stroke of the pen, eveiy mark of the brush, every artifice 
of the studio should be employed only as a commercial asset. 
Advertising is at its lowest ebb when it becomes a colorful luxury. 
The growth of advertising, phenomenal and spectacular as it has 
been, is interlocked with the constructive things which it has 
really accomplished. The most beautiful canvas by the most 
accomplished painter, inexpertly applied, may be a detriment 
rather than a force to keep factory wheels humming. 

What has brought about the changed attitude of the advertiser 
himself, generally a hard-headed builder of business empire, as 
regards the pictorial backdrop of his messages to the public? 
Time was, when sketches were a thorn in his flesh; a fifty-dollar 
expenditure for a single illustration was deemed mad extrava- 
gance. In this generation, thousands of dollars are freely 
expended — and no questions asked. If there is one thing more 
emphatically true of modern advertising, than another, it is the 
steady, improvement of the quality of its embellishments. 

Art, in proportion to its merit — and by this is meant its logical 
application to the specific selling problem — has proved highly 
successful. There are too many illuminative signposts along 
the way, for even the most unimaginative manufacturer to doubt 



the expediency of pictures as a quite logical essential of the 
average campaign. 

The value of white space is regulated by what is put into it. 
The page of the periodical is an empty vessel, until hard work 
coupled with genius, sets it aflame with reader interest. The 
progress of trade journals has, until recently, been retarded by the 
old-fashioned idea that because the space was moderate in cost, 
the quality of its contents need not rise above a restrained level. 

Briefly put, the several objectives of illustrations in advertis- 
ing are as follows: 

1. To visualize the product, that an advertisement may become a show 
case, a counter, a store shelf. 

2. To picturize the story of a service performed, its pleasures, its 
convenience, its profit, its utilitarian advantages. 

3. To whet a desire for the product, either through a reflection of service 
or through the beauty of appearance. 

4. To provide essential "atmosphere." Products and projects, in them- 
selves rather commonplace or uninspiring, maj' be made to take on unex- 
pected aristocracy. 

5. To implant, in the public mind, a consciousness that one product of a 
class is superior to all others. And here again "atmosphere" is the chief 

6. To "humanize" the inanimate. Certain advertised articles seem to 
demand this artificial stimulus. 

7. To demonstrate an argument or a service visually where words might 
fail, when unaccompanied by illustrations or by diagrams. 

8. To create that impelling desire on the part of the prospect to read the 
advertising message, which is inherent in all art. Art embellishment is to 
advertising what stage scenery and costumes are to drama. 

9. To individualize one campaign from another — a growing necessity 
where products are widely duplicated and as widely advertised. 

10. To familiarize people with packages, containers, the phj-sical appear- 
ance of the thing advertised that there may be no consequent confusion. 

11. To bring home, as words could never hope to do, the magnitude, 
traditions, and institutional functioning of an enterprise. 

12. To make the tie-up more complete between the point of final buyer 
contact and the advertising which has aroused a desire to purchase. 

13. To supply continuity, thereby solidifying and unifying a progressive 
series of advertisements. 

14. To put the prospect in a more receptive mental frame of mind, due, 
in part at least, to skilful play upon emotions. 

15. To dramatize the undramatic. 

16. To influence the dealer — the seller of the goods, whose interest, collab- 
oration, and enthusiasm are absolutely indispensable. 

17. To make mechanical problems easier of understanding. 

18. To provide a "safey catch" for the careless, indifferent eye, not 
inclined to read text. 


These are the obvious reasons why art is employed in advertis- 
ing, and each has its scries of complex ramifications. An adver- 
tising campaign cmi)loys one or many, as fits the particular case 
The objective of the advertising must be shrewdly analyzed 
before any decision can be made. 

The contention is advanced that there are innumerable weak- 
nesses in the popular conception that "illustrations are set to 
work in advertising fundamentally to catch the eye of the reader." 
This would imply that the artist's share in the proceedings is no 
more dignified than that of a flashy banner in front of the big 
show, and the artist only a casual ballyhoo man, whose usefulness 
ends when he has caused his public to begin reading the type. 
The viewpoint is both unfair and untrue. Commercial art is as 
much a substantial part of the basic selling idea as the most per- 
suasive text. It most completely and satisfactorily justifies 
itself when it merges with the fabric of the copy. 

Illustrations which are mere "eye-catchers" are transitory in 
their results and quite ephemeral. Their service to the campaign 
should be far more substantial and business-like, and the apology 
made in favor of such devices loses caste when it is repeatedly 
demonstrated that an illustration may function doubly, as a 
selling argument and as a red flag on the optical highway. 
So slight a theme as a border may be made to do its commercial 
bit. An ornamental initial letter may well justify the space it 

When is an advertiser to determine whether his campaign 
should be illustrated? The deciding factors are as diversified 
as advertising itself. A manufacturer of automobiles, who 
advertised in great national weekly, was aware of certain obvious 
facts. Virtually every other make of car was being advertised 
in the publication and the visual competition was severe. Pic- 
torially, the competitive campaigns were notable for the excel- 
lence of their illustrations. To enter the arena on a basis of 
display would mean no more than a matching of skill and wits. 

This advertiser desired most of all an individuality so surely 
stamped upon his page that the advertisements would stand out 
from the crowd. He did the one thing none of the others wore 
doing; he used type only, bold, liberally spaced, and straight 
across from margin to margin. Arguments, boiled down to the 
uttermost of concentrated salesmanship, permitted this dashing 
typography. By the elements of difference, it automatically 


attracted attention. Here, indeed, for the time being, at least, 
was individuality. Illustrations would have been superfluous 
and would have placed the advertisement in the identical physical 
category with the rest. It was a temporary expedient, sound in 
its day, and employed for a definite purpose. It was not an 
argument against advertising illustrations; instead it was a 
fundamental idea, used in an extremity. 

Today, illustrating a campaign is a matter of illustrating it 
distinctively. Pictures possess as much character as individuals. 
A picture or an illustrative plan, which lacks individuality, is 
apt to be less effective. 

Competition has driven the sluggard from cover and has forced 
up the sleeves of the mentally lazy. American advertising art 
is remarkable for amazing versatility and resourcefulness. If 
fifty electric vacuum machines are being widely exploited in 
separate campaigns each one is driven to an under-surface search 
for something new, both in technique and in the foundational 

The value of this may be read in the necessity for a more 
profound study of the product, its virtues, its exclusive fea- 
tures, its embedded selling arguments — attributes less apt to be 

Factors influencing any campaign of illustrations might well con- 
sider, then, the following objectives, regardless of the product: 

1. The creating of an exclusive physical atmosphere. 

2. An art technique which shall a.ssist in differentiating the campaign. 

3. Possibilities of accumulative interest, due to a serialization of the 

4. Analysis of the popular vogues, fads, and fancies of the public. 

5. If possible, the advancing of an exclusive selling argument. 

6. An eye to pictorial competition, particularly in newspaper space. 

7. Meeting the picturized campaigns of competitors. 

8. Careful study of seasonal influence. 

9. Perfect correlation between text and illustration. 

10. Some indication that the advertising in its pictorial phases is in 
sympathy with the future aims of the sales department. 

A(lv(Mtising departments are more and more seeking the 
collaboration and the suggestions of the sales department, 
although some sharp controversies have taken place on this issue. 
Ik'causc illustrations comprise such a dominating part of advertis- 
ing, it is but natural that they should attract the attention of 
the sales organization and of the retail and wholesale trade, to 


whom they are so often presented in broadside form. It is 
likely that some hint of a policy or reference to a condition 
which exists "on the road," given by an interested sales manager, 
will provide the basic theme for a series of illustrations. 

The best evidence of the need of illustrations in an advertising 
campaign is the reader interest in the text. Is the text strong 
enough to stand alone? Are the facts which must be given 
rather dull and technical, when unaccompanied by imaginative 
pictures? Advertisers sometimes deliberately test this condition 
by setting an advertisement first in ''cold" tj^pe and by passing 
it around for review. It is better to use no pictures, than to 
"drag illustrations in by the heels." The preponderance of 
illustrated campaigns is evidence of the wisdom of pictures. 
Every advertiser has a distinct problem of his own. 

Such processes as govern the actual creating of commercial 
art show the divergence of need and of method. For example, 
which should come first, picture or text? Which should inspire 
the other? 

It is by no means an unusual practice for a layout and creative 
artist to proceed with an entire series of advertisements, so far as 
his part of the work is concerned, and to turn these over to the 
writer of the text. It is understood, of course, that a common 
theme has been settled upon, which has to do with selling policies 
and company traditions, and that there has been a "marriage of 
purpose" between copy writer and artist. 

The writer of the text matter is more likely to interpret the 
commercial aspects of the campaign and to keep in closer touch 
with production, with markets, and with the public mind of the 
moment. Artists, if not trained in advertising ways, and unsym- 
pathetic to the clink of the cash register, might allow their 
temperaments to run away with them. Commercial illustrations, 
as a rule, should be drawn in precisely the same spirit which 
inspires the writer of sales copy. 


The conditions which surround the acceptance of an advertis- 
ing schedule are varied. But that conscientious censorship is 
wise no one wiU question. Advertising is a growth, a blend of 
many minds. It would appear incredible that any man should 
possess all of the knowledge which must go into an advertising 

The advertising man has not, as yet, quite attained the pro- 
fessional independence of the physician, who is not above asking 
the opinion of a specialist, on occasion. Advertising is not a 
thing by and unto itself. It must take into consideration both 
maiuifacturer and the impressive aggregate of dealers the country 
over. It is invarial)ly successful when it is unselfish in its 
relationships with both. 

True, coinplpxities arise when there are too many persons 
working on the problem. For a mixed group of critics to come to 
agree upon the merits of a submitted policy is unlikely. Do 
not ask for criticisms, but for approval and constructive con- 
sideration. Mankind is pathetically susceptible to the oppor- 
tunity to criticise. 

l^xpcdiencies which make it easier to secure an acceptance of 
the artist's work find a place in a book of this character. Few 
campaigns are independent of official exactions, including com- 
pany executives, special committees, boards of directors, special- 
ists, and de|)artnuMit managers who must pass in review upon the 
project. Advertising asks for censorship, of a kind, that it may 
fall into no hidden i)itfalls of business practice or of company 

r^xperience has shown that certain methods are best in the 
handling of preliminaiy-idea sketches. Where the contact is 
close, layouts shoulil be rough. Make them the same size or of 
the proportions for which they are scheduled. The advantage 
of the actual-sized sketch is in the fidelity of its presentation of 
various units. Copy limitations are set. The correct relative 



Fig. 1. — The artist's first roujj;h skotch, in pencil. Its purpose is to establish 
composition, the spirit of the lay-out, and disposition of characters. 

Fig. 2. — From the first rough sketch, models are posed, conforming to its 
composition. This supplies the advertiser with a photographic illustration where 
copy of this character is preferaljlc. It also proves helpful to the artist in making 
either line or crayon drawings or a design in color or black and white "wash." 



proportions of tho illvist ration are designated. Everything 
tliat must go into the advertisement, down to headhnes, trade 
marks, coupons, ete. is plotted in a workmanlike manner. Where 
rough layouts arc made eonsiderably larger, there is an im- 
certainty of apportionment, resulting in a final inharmonious 

Fio. 3. — The finisliod photographic product from posed models. The spirit 
of the oriKinal pencil layout has been rather faithfully retained. Retouching 
was necessary in places. 

Illustrations will appear notably different in reduction. They 
do not live up to the expectations apparent in the large drawing. 
A composition which, in the preliminary sketch, seemed entirely 
adequate, bold, and with sufficient carrying power, may shrink 
to inconse(}uential and weak proportions; and this is not sensed 
until the proof conies from the engraver. 

The professional "Visualizer" is one who has an appreciative 
sense of display, and is always mindful of the juxtaposition of 
illustration to text. He is absolutely fair to both artist and copy 


writer; he knows that one will benefit the other in the problem of 
a well-balanced whole. He is not necessarily an artist; in fact, he 
is at his best when he has no more than a general knowledge of 
artistic technique. 

Detail in the preliminary sketch paves the way for criticism. 
The committee passing upon a campaign will not expect too much 
of a frankly crude composition sketch, where heads of characters, 


i*^^fc^^V.".^~ '. — . 

Fig. 4 — The same subject visualized in skctcliy crajou Imudling for farm 
journal use, wlierc the paper might not have successfully "taken" a more complex 

in a figure layout, arc designated by circles, and backgrounds are 
the veriest phantom of a scene. 

The most practical sketch is the one which is frankly tenta- 
tive. It allows the censor to supply his own ideas and fill 
in his own detail. Draw a few deft lines and mark across the 
face of the rendering, "pretty girl" and your censor is at once 
disarmed; he will see there his personal preference as to feminine 
beauty. If you were to draw the figure painstakingly he is apt 
to prefer another type, criticise the hairdressing, or the pose of 
an arm. A rough sketch should be the first crude representation 
of form and of spirit. 



Pioneers at the work use thin paper, an onionskin tissue, 
which, because of its flinisiness, emphasizes the drawing is for 
basic composition only and is to be judged accordingly. The 
ostentation of a sketch made on heavy cardboard or on fine 
{jiiality of bristol prepares the critic for detailed analysis. 

Actual-sized layouts visualize true proportions and are a work- 
ing chart for typography and other accessories. Moreover, 
they are incxi^cnsivc to produce. Where such sketches are made, 

Fiu. 5. — Pen and ink interpretation from the photOKraphic base, with certain 
artistic liberties taken, in order to simi)lify the technique. 

they provide leeway for experiment. A half dozen of them, for 
the same advertisement, can be turned out at slight cost. The 
first visulization of an idea may not be the best by any means. 
Visualizers prefer to "feel their way" for most dramatic pictorial 
effects. For his own convenience, the artist has files of maga- 
zine and newspaper sizes, and the tracing paper, placed over 
them, clearly defines the limitations of each laj'out. 

Occasionally the more elaborate type of preliminary drawing 
is necessary. Persons lacking imaginations do not grow enthusi- 
atic over an outline. Size to Ihom is a deciding factor; sheer 
bulk, pageantry, and elaborate detail alone can make an impres- 


sion. At such times, the large working-size prehminary is 
essential. It serves a useful purpose in an emergency or where 
the advertiser is a newcomer in the field. 

How it will look when it comes down to the correct propor- 
tions does not occur to those who demand infinite detail and large, 
impressive drawings. A blue print or a velox, made actual 
size from the original might be submitted at the same time, 

If an individualistic art technique forms a significant phase 
of the visualizer's work, he may suggest its use. Wash, color, a 
combination of wash and pen-and-ink, crayon, charcoal, pencil, 
etc., however, would be economically impractical in the event 
layouts are made in large form. 

Rough sketches, or photographic prints, made actual size 
from large pencil originals, should be mounted in the magazine 
or in the newspaper in which they are to appear to weigh dis- 
play values, visual reaction and the power to meet pictorial 
competition. Any layout will look well when considered as 
an independent unit. Test it by placing it in its ultimate battle 

It is invariably sensible to suggest the typographical setup; 
for it must be understood that illustrations are often handicapped 
by type faces and blocks which are not in harmony with the art. 
The desired effect may be secured by drawing a series of parallel 
lines to visualize the weight and position of the reading matter. 
This relation of type to picture is more intricate than most 
advertisers imagine. There are niceties of layout which mean 
an artistic frame for the illustration, and typography which is 
not suited can nullify the most vigorous art study. 

Current and unnecessary waste in advertising is attributable 
somewhat to expenditures at the inception of the campaign 
for large, elaborate "rough sketches" which are not that in 
fact and which are often immediately rejected for want of 
appropriateness of idea or of arrangement. 


What may be referred to as "stage direction" is essential to 
the success of ilhist rated advertisement. Where and how the 
pictorial units are placed is as vital as the artistic merit of the 
picture, for the finest work of the most sympathetic talent can be 
ruined by makeshift composition. 

The name "visualizer" by no means describes the breadth 
of this specialist's activities, for he correlates the component 
parts of the layout, such as main ilhistration, secondary pictorial 
features, reproduction of products, embellished name plates, 
trade marks, typographical blocks, and borders and areas of 
white space. He is at once an artist, an expert in typography, 
an analyst of mental processes and reactions and a business man. 
He should, among other things, see with the eyes of the average 
reader of public prints. One of the most serious errors in the 
preparation of advertising is to lose the perspective of the pros- 
pect. An advertising man who builds an advertisement to 
please himself and to satisfy his own vanitj^ and his personal and 
artistic preferences is, of course, narrowing the selling market of 
the campaign. The aggressive, large-space modern advertise- 
ment is more complex than was advertising during the earlier 
stages of its growth. It is made up of more sceueiy more 
essential "props," and a larger cast of characters. 

VisuaHzcrs, whothcr so-called or not, " rehearse " this embryo 
sclUng drama. They study the possibilities of the given white 
space — the stage, as it weiie — designate the positions of all props, 
and are dictatorial in matters of both active and passive ingre- 
dients. The final "full dress rehearsal" is arrived at only after 
numerous experiments, and expresses itself in a pencil layout 
which accurately serves as a guide. Although there may be fifty 
possil)le combinations of the })arts of a display, one, and one alone 
contributes most to the objective of the message. 

Composition regulates the inherent charm of an advertisement. 
It sui)plies perfection of balance, the symi)athetic juxtaposition 




of various units. Composition is a blend of the landscape 
gardener and the architect, the interior decorator and the 
hanger of pictures in the salon. It sees to it that illustrations 
receive their most advantageous settings and that typography 
is always easy to read, inviting to the eye. Composition, indeed, 
is a sort of artistic chef, putting in a little of this, a little of that, 
always in the right proportion. 

Rooms there are which immediately clash upon the artistic 
sensibilities. Yet exactly the same furnishings, arranged differ- 
ently and with knowledge, transform the jarring room into a 
place of genuine beauty. 

Fig. 6. 

Left. — Employing a uniciue trade mark dc\'ice as the composition motif of the 
page. The peculiar wedge-shape has significance, as it is a part of the adopted 
signature symbol. This composition is expressive of the reaching out for new 
forms, new idea.s in the physical plotting of the message. 

Center. — -An all-over i)hotographic illustration, forming a vigorous and color- 
ful frame for the text space. Note with what artistic care the trade mark 
seal has been introduced, in perfect harmonious balance. 

Right. — Advertising campaigns often profit by the absence of confining 
borders, decoratic mortises and formal design. The Cadillac page, one of a 
series, dispenses with these ingredients and relies wholly upon a perfect adjust- 
ment of type to illustration. There is shrewd planning, however, in the layout 
which may not be apparent to the non-technical eye. 

It is not a bad practice to look upon advertising space, as a 
room, as an estate; and the same principles which hold good with 
the interior decorator and the landscape gardener are equally 
true of an advertisement's physical phases. 

Composition, in other words, sets the house in order. Compo- 
sition finds a suitable place for everything. Composition takes 
shreds and patches and makes an artistic whole of them. 


The case is recalled of a celebrated manufacturer, who, inter- 
ested in the advertising of his product, insisted upon personally 
directing its destiny. He had a way of purchasing elaborate 
paintings from nationally known artists, and arbitrarily adapt- 
ing them to campaign needs. But he did not understand com- 
position. He translated advertising in mere terms of picture and 
type. As a consequence, his campaigns were neither effective 
nor profitable. They offended far too many canons of good taste. 

Illustrations which cost as much as one thousand dollars, were 
submerged in distractions of disturbing layout. It is no wiser to 
toss type, pictures, trade marks, borders and white space, indis- 
criminately into an advertising page, than to do the same with 
furniture in a room. Recently, this manufacturer has been 
persuaded to allow an expert to plot his advertisements, and 
while the identical ingredients are there, the new program has 
received wide commendation. 

Knowledge of composition is by no means a common gift. 
Some persons appear to be born with it; their eyes and their minds 
instinctively turn to form, color, and niceness of arrangement. 
They are architects of tj^pe, pictures, and white paper. Anj^hing 
which is not artistic rasps and irritates them. 

Others are compelled to arrive at the same conclusion by the 
circuitous route of experiment. They know when a certain 
composition is altogether pleasing and adequate, but are not in a 
position to achieve it imerringly, at the first trial. The student 
of advertising composition may ask, "But how am I to master 
this apparently subtle and intricate art if it is so elusive? By 
what method may it be attained?" 

Those entirely unfamiliar with the technique of advertising 
design, the masses, arc nevertheless peculiarly responsive to 
correct form, composition, meritorious layout. They fed it, 
without definite knowledge of its operations. This is one of 
Nature's wise dispensations. Broadly speaking, it may be 
explained in the basis that nature is inherently artistic. The 
world around us has a way of falling into unconsciously pleasing 
compositions. A thousand miles of woodland may not show a 
false note. Thus, the public's eye is somewhat pre-trained. 

The poorly and faultily composed advertisement repulses, 
although i)cople may not understand why. The artistic arrange- 
ment attracts in the same manner. In a recent interesting 
experiment, two advertisements of related subjects and of the 




In all the 
35 years 

Fig. 7. 

Upper Left. — Tradition has it that the picture should have top position in a 
layout, because its sphere is to create that initial desire to read the message. In 
an entire series, this advertiser successfully reverses the order. 

Upper Right. — A series featuring panel for text, surrounded by illustration, 
on the theory that the composition tends to lead the eye into the selling message. 

Lower Left. — ^Revolutionary but with many points in its favor, not the least 
of which is its power to attract the eye due to freedom from conventional 
forms. Advertising welcomes the composition pioneer. 

Lower Right. — A postery, even sensational scheme of layout, useful occasion- 
ally when an important illustration and brief text are to be boldly featured. 



same proportions were submitted to thirty-five men and women. 
The audience was composed of average persons. One of the 
displays was fine as to composition, the other faulty, although 
l)oth were illustrated by the same competent artist. The 
vote was overwhelmingly for the meritorious composition. But 
when asked why the advertisement was selected in preference to 
the other, it could not be explained. It was an intangible attrac- 

For its Beauty — 
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SEW! Qiieit IVORY 


Fio. S. — An cxamiilc of the "editorial style" of composition and make-up; 
with little iiKliviflual fragments of text and illustration so placed as to form an 
interesting whole. There are exponents of this school, and another group 
equally certain that interest is too severely scattered. Advertising, however, 
has room for all. 

tion. One intrigued and invited and retited the human eye; the 
other antagonized it by flagrant violations of the laws of 
balanced composition. 

There are several accepted practices in relation to experi- 
mental work. One of these, and by far the best, is to assemble 




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Fig. 9. 

Upper Lcfl. — Resoniblcs a "reading section" pane in niako-up Note (hat 
name plate display and sub-heads have been avoided. 

Upper Right. — A "scattered" composition, but the illustrafion.s form a running 
story of more importance than grace of design. There is a liint of rotogravure 
page lay-out which is newsily inloresting. 

Lower Left. — A composition which defies tradition. Illustration fitted around 
a type box on such a manner as to set it off. 

Lower Right.— The page actually divided into two separate units, one devoted 
to pictorial display, the other a slender column of tailoring facts. 



the known units of a gi\'cn advertisement, and move them about 
across the face of the layout, as one might move parts of a jig-saw 
puzzle. Or, given the correct space limitations, make very rough 
sketches until some strikingly artistic composition is arrived at. 

In a generation which has brought a large volume of advertis- 
ing and which has made competition in display a significant 
problem, the layout becomes paramount, for novelty of layout 
means superiority of attention-compelling value. "How can 

1 ,^^^^ 


One half o( vour lifetime, and 
more, is spent in hosiery. Your 
constant and intimate travel- 



ing companion! It is an im- 
portant part of your personal 
protection and cmbclhshmenL 
The world buys more Pbocnix 
hosiery- than any other kind, 
because it has dounnght t/f- 


gancc and a tenacious wear- 
ability thai makes it a substan- 


tial economy. For men, women 
and children, it is the sUindurJ 
hosiery throughout the' world. 









the sime IVn and Rmril , "■ ■ >ti 
the Bu!>inf s-. \\brldjiiHJjJ)esl ' '. < U i 


nukhe<1 by 


Fio. 10. 

Lffl. — The Phoenix campaign, running for several years along the s.-vnie lines, 
delilierately set out to "do soinothing tlitTerent" in the matter of physical atmo- 
sphere and composition. Although each page was an independent unit, a 
sympathy of feeling was always in evidence, thus establishing the "family" 

liii/ht. — Nothing commonplace, nothing traditional in this unique Layout. 
There are thousands of variants of it, which should inspire advertisers to make 
an earnest effort to "get away from" certain set forms whicli, in time, outlive 
their usefulness. When a magazine carries more than one himdred pages of 
a<lvertising, is it not necessary to search for new ideas in composition? 

the advertisement be made to statul oul?^' is the question. The 
user of smtill space is d()ul)ly concerned. 

The answer is often to be found in power of composition. 
Fine art, compelling copy, distinctive technique, are all helpful, 
but they arc secondary to their own assembling. Those 
advertisements, which at once arrest the attention, upon analysis 
prove to be structurally strong in composition. They success- 
fully combat their fellow displays by observing well-known rules 



of scientific layout. They admit a certain problem, and then 
set out to meet it by every technical device at their command. 
The advertiser who builds his campaign with one eye on the 
inevitable competition will build ruggedly. Pasting proofs 
upon a newspaper or a magazine page leaves no opportunity 
for later disillusionment. Considered alone, as a separate unit, 
segregated from that competition which is the final test, a layout 
proves nothing, because it merely competes with itself. 

Qing]^ams cu varied as the summer nwde 

^ - 

David 6? John Anderson Scotch Ginghams 

Fig. 11. 

Lefl. — ^A composition which violates every known rule but which is none the 
less effective. It possesses that most precious asset — individuality. 

Right. — Neat, well-groomed arrangement of the component parts of a page 
advertisement, and at all points and in all respects, avoiding the obvious — 
the thing which is ordinarily done. 

A wonderfully executed illustration by a painter of note, 
produced at great expense, will be no more valuable in an 
advertisement than the forces which have been set to work in its 
behalf: forces which have to do with environment, with size, 
with arrangements of mortises for text, borders, placings of 
typography, and individuality of layout. This might have been 
less true a few years back, when the really fine illustration was 
in the minority, but today the preponderance of the good is 
so noticeable that, of itself, it is not sufficient for display pur- 
poses. Distinctiveness of composition must come to its rescue 
as at least a desirable attribute. 


Illustrations, which at best are ordinary as to subject, can be 
nuule to dominate sj)ace, large or small, through the artifices 
of a resourceful layout artist, which proves that composition 
and art l)clong together in a comradeshi]) of effort. This does not 
refer to the composition of the illustration itself, but to the placing 
of the picture in relation to other units of the advertisement. 

An excellent procedure, in any event, is to take what may 
have seemed a satisfactory display, and after its actual appear- 
ance, "tear" it apart, rearrange it, in a search for that still better 
composition, which is always the reward of study. 

By observing the displays in a single magazine or newspaper 
and by weighing their virtues and defects invaluable data is 
secured. For one thing, it will be at once apparent that adver- 
tisers are making remarkable advances in this field. The lay- 
out which is commonplace suffers correspondingly. 

It was considered rank heresy at one time to place an illus- 
tration at the bottom of an advertisement. In working out a 
scenario of reader response, it appeared sensible to conclude that 
there were certain approved sequences of appeal. A picture 
was employed to attract the attention of the prospect and to 
lead him, by easy stages, into the text. As a consequence, the 
illustration should always come first. It was the door through 
which people entered the selling edifice. Why, then, reverse the 
correct and logical order of things, and place this door last? 

But advertising beliefs, prejudices, and traditions have under- 
gone radical changes. There are few arbitrary rules of this 
kind. A page, at best, is a small area for the eye to cover. 
Why stress psychology to such an exacting extent — as if human 
vision, in the limited confines of, say, a magazine page, would 
go picking and choosing to this finicky degree. It is done to 
some extent, admittedly, but this feature has been vastly over- 
estimated as to importance. 

Composition is advertising's tailor. It sees that a display in 
its entirety is well-groomed. It allows no one part to dojninate 
beyond its just degree. It is an arbiter of style, of modishness 
and of modernity. It is the magic harmonizer. 

The i^erfect composition, as a rule, automatically brings an 
ease of advertising manner, poise. Wlierever it is practiced, 
the advertisement "holds together." It is not disjointed, and 
then; arc no distractions. The relative importance of copy and 
of illustration is neatly adjusted. 


Some of the most brilliantly successful ideas for illustrating 
national advertising campaigns have originated with the sales 
department, and this source of practical inspiration should never 
be ignored or overlooked. 

It is of the greatest importance to arrive at a basic theme which 
will, first of all, sell the product along lines of least resistance 
and w^hich will work in harmony with the person Avho closes 
the actual sale. To separate any discussion of commercial art 
from the "selling end" is to treat the subject half-heartedly. 
The time has passed when art was looked upon as a mere frame 
for copy. In one form or another, illustrations must sell mer- 
chandise, whether by supplying helpful atmosphere or by a 
more direct commercial appeal. 

And every product presents specific prol)lems and objectives 
which make it quite impossible to set down definite rules of pro- 
cedure The advertiser generally takes a broad-gage view, 
deciding upon a concerted plan of illustration which can be made 
a fixture over a given period. Frequent changes in the physical 
appearance of advertising can do irreparable damage. There is 
nothing upon which the public may fasten its memory, its recog- 
nition, and its confidence. 

A famous soap, advertised for generations, had employed a 
standard style of illustration and typographical makeup for 
almost fifteen years. It had become a familiar form, every bit 
as identifiable with this one soap as the company's trade mark. 
A young salesmanager wanted his new broom to sweep clean. 
He contended that the public had grown weary of the sameness 
of the illustrative theme and its manner of presentation. And, 
with a ruthless hand, he destroyed that which had been genera- 
tions in the making. 

What was the result? In ferreting around for a new idea, he 
settled upon a "vogueish" style, then popular, which was more or 



less imitated by the majority of soap manufacturers. The 
original character and distinctiveness of the advertising was lost. 
Moreover, the selling idea was a concentration upon one appeal, 
that its use would beautify the complexion, whereas previous 
efforts had generalized, with consistent success. Too late, it 
was appreciated that distinctiveness in illustration can become a 
genuine business asset. 

To consider pictures for a year to come, rather than the individ- 
ual advertisement, is essential. Nor should the decision be made 
hastily. The advertising program of a now nationally distri- 
buted product was deferred almost a year because the manu- 
facturer failed to locate a sound advertising basis. He set about 
his task in a workman-like manner. The first step was to make a 
collection of the advertising of every competitor in his field. 
This research work extended to technical journals, trade publica- 
tions of all kinds, newspaper campaigns, street car cards, posters, 
consumer literature, and catalogs. For how can an advertiser 
make a decision as to policy if he has no more than a superficial 
knowledge of the advertising activities of his competitors? He 
might unconsciously duplicate their methods and illustrations; 
he might merely go over ground which had been conscientiously 
covered in the past. By assimilating the advertising of his 
competitors, he is in a position to avoid the obvious and the 
hackneyed, and profit by the virtues and the mistakes of those 
who have gone before. 

This advertiser decided to stress economy. Illustrations 
visualized the saving. But before the campaign had been run- 
ning six months, it was seen that a better basic theme could be 
found. The average woman was unwilling to jeopardize a big 
baking of bread, the last-minute dinner-time baking of a cake or a 
pie, because of a saving of a few cents on her baking powder. 
Investigation would have warned the advertiser in advance. 
It was a valuable fact but not one to make the compelling feature 
of a cami)aign. 

Commonplace products demand uncommonplace illustrations. 
And it is to the everlasting credit of the modern advertising 
campaign, that it has learned to dig deep for rugged features 
lending themselves naturally to exclusive and dramatic pictorial 
embellishment. It is not difficult, perhaps, to find a selling 
argument, but it is relativc^l}' difficult to locate one which invites 
original illustrations, bearing a family resemblance. 


Campaigns which have been noticeably successful in this 
respect deserve mention here, as examples of how it can and 
should be done. The idea, in each case, opens up treasure-troves 
of art. There is nothing more discouraging than the good selling 
angle which offers no opportunity to the artist. 

Observe, then, in the following instances, how a foundational 
picture-theme has been originated, which illustrated the story 
from a new angle unconventionally and brilliantly. 

A campaign in behalf of tire valves and tire gages has picturized 
the story of air, and the things which take place when it is confined. 
The advertiser believed that the average car owner held no ade- 
quate conception of the importance of tire inflation and the 
tremenduous power which was held in obedient check. 

A campaign for a motor truck glorified various trades and 
industries employing these trucks, thereby opening the door to 
interesting character studies of the butcher, the baker, and the 
candlestick-maker. Such valuable statistics were given as to 
the importance of these men and trades that the campaign was 
made educational to a degree. 

A campaign for a trade-marked rope features, pictorially, 
the tiny blue thread which nms through the core of the product, 
quickly identifying it, a new idea in a field that has seen few 
developments in its entire advertising existence. 

A packing house traced the early history of the United 
States, in order to draw a compelling parallel of meat supply, 
then and now. On the artist's canvas are spread an absolutely 
limitless array of inspiring themes, as history comes to life beneath 
the brush. But pictures of hams and bacons had become an 
old story and an oft-told one. And here was a path away from 
the conventional, the obvious. 

A playing card manufacturer runs a series of unique problems 
of whist and bridge, although this was an indirect method of 
showing the product. The humor, the studies in expression, 
and the mental alertness of players, could be portrayed as illus- 
trations. The campaign was an expedient move, because it 
created new players and whetted the appetite for innocent games 
among those who had not played before. 

A motor car manufacturer allows actual owners to tell their 
stories of automobile companionship and service, with what 
illustrative result? The customary and somewhat monotonous 
background of car illustrations is avoided, as different types of 


users bring their own interesting environment. It may be blind 
Helen Keller, touring the mountains, or a hunter of big game 
taking his automobile with him to the frontiers of adventure. 

A soap manufacturer provides distinctive pictorial atmosphere 
by visualizing the protective and cleansing character of its carbolic 
acid ingredient, and takes the reader into every public highway 
where contamination and disease may reach human hands. 

A maker of automobile bodies bravely avoids the obvious, and 
never shows its own product, being content with powerful 
character studies of aristocratic and discriminating types of 
people, with just a mere hint of automobiling. 

Avoiding customary family-group scenes around the radio, 
one maker of receivers delves into the past and traces, pictor- 
ial substitutes for wireless, as practiced long ago, from town criers 
to the African war drums, and the signal fires of the western 
Indian. This means, as in the examples already mentioned, a 
change of illustrative theme with every advertisement, but with 
the aggregate campaign of pictures neatly tied together by a 
common bond of basic subject. 

A silverware house deliberately selects those embarassing 
experiences of the home and of entertaining, when put in picture 
form, tell of the critical guests, the hasty w'ashing of one set of 
spoons in time for the next course, or the dinner which was a 
failure because things did not go smoothly, in order to suggest the 
desirability of having a complete selection of silver. The trage- 
dies are rather grim in their way, but on canvas, they make 
comi)elling sales history. 

Many other examples might be given, for it is a by no means 
uncommon practice. But these few will suffice to show that the 
campaign which is illustrated strikingly and in an original manner 
must find receptive material at the base. Copy is "wedded" 
to studio effort. There is a happy affiliation. 

Nor are such themes acquired hit-or-miss. They are invari- 
ably the result of study of every phase of the product, its market 
and its competitors. 

Perhaps the most interesting argument in favor of these illus- 
trated campaigns is their close adherence to the practices and 
observances of sound salcsman.ship. The pictures justify them- 
selves. They are engrossing, as art, but they also keep well with- 
in the confines of logic, as related to the gooils they represent. 
Anything short of this would be unworthy. 


It is always well, in planning a series of illustrations, for any- 
type of product, to sock the viewpoint of the consumer. By so 
doing, the one best argument, the one most efficient picture appeal, 
is apt to be uncovered. It may be some apparently insignificant 
feature which has been overlooked. 

A campaign for a certain breakfast cereal had been but moder- 
ately successful for many seasons. Then, one day, a letter was 
sent by the advertising department to a list of five hundred grocers 
in different parts of the country, asking them to express their 
opinion as to the best selling and advertising feature of the pro- 
duct, as brought out by the American housewife. "It cooks a 
few minutes sooner than the ordinary oatmeal," came back the 
prompt response. And when this fact was visualized in pictures 
and described in text, the advertising became wholly profitable. 


Rapid progress in the processes of engraving has at last dis- 
pensed with every hazard and handicap formerly encountered 
by the artist, whose work was sharply limited by the mechanical 
methods of his day. It is unquestionably true of modern repro- 
ductive possibilities that no medium, no trick, no subtlety is 
beyond the most perfect printing facsimile. Artists may proceed 
without a thought to reproduction, although the reservation is 
made that certain technical observances make it easier for all 
concerned. The important thing is that the character of the 
individual, as reflected in his work, can be reproduced with the 
greatest fidelity. 

An advertising campaign, therefore, takes on the color, warmth, 
sentiment, and significance of an exclusive atmosphere. A 
medium may be chosen which shall assist in the telling of a 
story. So important a phase has this become that the selection 
of artists and techniques is second only to the basic idea. Having 
decided definitely as to the spirit of his material and its pictorial 
fundamentals, the advertiser next seeks an artist and a medium 
which are nicely calculated to bring it out. Technique is to an 
advertising campaign what personality is to the individual. It 
is a distinctiveness of dress, while bringing certain deeper ciualities 
to life. 

The advertiser now selects both artist and technique with as 
great care and as much artistic discrimination as a dramatic 
producer would use choosing his cast. The diflPiculty of this is 
made easier by an ever-increasing roster of available talent. 
Once reluctant, these competent men and women now look upon 
commercial art, so-called, as a field of noteworthy endeavor. 
Not only is the remuneration handsome, but all advertising has 
been (Ugnified by its own higher ideals and its constant striving 
for perfection. 

Competition is interestingly keen. As popular artists develop 
vogues and styles and schools peculiarly their own, they arc 




eagerly snapped up by advertising, for advertising must change 
with the times; must keep pace with what is currently esteemed 
by the greatest number of people. 

It is not always a paramount question of good art, but one of 
good art expressed in terms which will most intimately relate to 
the project in hand. A certain artist may be both popular and 
inspired, and nevertheless fall short in sympathetically illustrat- 
ing the campaign. Specialization is coming to the fore. If an 




Fig. 12. — An interesting example of poster-wasli, executed in flat masses, 
are "cut out" on the plate, for greater contrast. 


advertiser has a story to tell involving the atmosphere of early 
Indian days, then he seeks talent which has always concentrated 
on this period. If there is a series to prepare, based on character 
study and industrial activities, the artist who makes these can- 
vases does it a little better than anyone else and will echo an 
atmosphere in which there are no technical flaws. 

This wide latitude was impossible during the earlier days of 
advertising, because processes of reproduction had not advanced 
sufficiently to make printing facsimiles of a practical character. 


In the current regime, an artist may proceed, fancy free, assured 
of reproductions which defy the most exacting censor. 

Because various artists have varying techniques and mediums, 
the selection, for a campaign of imposing magnitude, becomes 
more than ordinarily significant. There are questions which 
must be arbitrarily asked before the decision can be made : 

1. ^^^lat medium will host serve to bring out the atmosphere it is wished 
to create? 

2. To what extent must distinctiveness and individuality of illu.stration 
be emphasized? 

3. Where is the advertising to appear and on what grades of paper stock ? 

4. Are photographs preferable because of the illustrative conviction they 

5. What have competitive advertisers done in the past and what are 
their present methods? 

In a sense, the advertiser must shop in a great department 
store, there to decide on the physical appearance of his cam- 
paign. The shelves are filled with attractive possibilities. He 
may garb his advertising ruggedly in homespun, if he feels this 
is to its advantage; or he may deck it out in silks and satins. 
And for the duration of this campaign, at least, the character 
of the product will be inexoral)ly influenced by his selection. 

Chief among the mediums at his disposal are: 

Original wash drawings, in transparent water color. 

Tempera originals, with white pigment mixed with the black. 

Paintings in black and white oil. 

Crayon, for line or half-tone rcj)roduction. 

Pencil, for line or half-tone reproduction. 

Dry-brush techniciue, on surfaced jiaper. 

Combituition line and half-tone illustrations. 

Line drawings embellished with Uvn Day tints. 

7''he poster-style wash. 

Poster-style line. 

Mas.sed blacks, for poor-pajier reproduction. 

Etching-style jien dniwings. 

Full-shade line. 

Jlalf-shadc! lino. 

Pen-and ink outline. 

Black silhouette. 

White silhouette. 


Photographic combined with pencil. 

Photograjjliic in combination with line. 

Photographic, poster-retouched. 



There are any number of variants of the above, with the 
techniques shading off into a hundred and one unique illustrative 
schools, each sufficiently different from the other to make it 
possible for an advertiser to find some new combination or blend 
which will individualize his series. The foregoing will be taken 
up in detail later on; and entire chapters will be devoted to an 
exposition of their merits, their applications and their actual 

Fig. 13. — Pen and ink, used to exrellent purpose to pru\i<le campaign indi- 

Color in advertising has not been included in the list at this 
time. It is really a separate department, deserving, as used 
today, a volume of its own. 

A recent study of advertising illustrations in numerous phases 
brought out the fact that no less than five hundred different 
techniques were now in use. Although often inter-related as 
to school, they represented extraordinary resourcefulness and 
imaginative skill, and could be looked upon as successfully 
individualizing their respective campaigns. 

And, in selecting the artist, the medium, and the technique, 
this is an obligatory rule. Working together, they should 
give a campaign an atmosphere unreservedly its own. That 
art influences the public in matters of identification is unques- 
tioned. Some years ago, a magazine and book illustrator 
created a style which was so distinctive, so original, and so 



different from anything then appearing that the advertising 
campaign employing it was Uftcd high out of the magazine pages 
and out of the conventional rut. Here was something new 
at last. 

Fig. 14. — An exceediugly modern style of illustration, wliich combines crisp 
outline with poster areas of black, and the judicious use of wash in flat masses. 

Hut this mannerism of style did not escape the imitator. It 
was too easy to copy, once an oiiginal pattern had been 
designed. Soon a dozen or more campaigns came out with 
illustrations of a like character, with the result that the value of 

Fig. 15. 

I^efl. — While the .subject is one which minht bo looked upon as "commercial," 
the iirtist ha.s given his illustration the unc^omniercial and "story" flavor. 

Right. — Decorative handling of a still-life scene which could very easily become 

an exclusive art technique was immediately lost to the original 
user of these illustrations. It was a makeshift for all the others, 
due to the fact that an appreciative public had grown to identify 



this technique with one campaign and its product, and when an 
epidemic of plagiarism cropped out, people were never quite 
sure as to the identity of the thing advertised. 

It is pointed out, with emphasis, that no advertiser should 
in any way imitate the illustrative methods and styles of other 
advertisers, competitive or otherwise. The entire fabric of 
advertising is weakened when this is done. To find over and 
over again in a magazine, in a newspaper, or in any field of adver- 
tising effort a repetition of a pictorial manner baffles the first 

Hn^°l| " 







Fig. 16. — Realism, almost photographic, secured in a scries of wash originals. 

objective of art in advertising. It gives a "family resemblance" 
to these campaigns, which should most positively boast a pic- 
torial identity of their own, an exclusive atmosphere. 

The most prized asset an advertiser may possess is this 
intensely intimate and personal atmosphere. Just why some 
advertisers should feel at liberty to reach out and adopt the 
popular vogue of another is not quite clear. It would seem, on 
its face, the most unbusinesslike and unethical thing imaginable. 
The Atlantic and Pacific Tea Stores have adopted the policy of 
painting their shop fronts a brilliant red. Would other chain 
stores, or the casual local merchant, be justified in doing the 
same thing? Main Street would confuse its customers to an 
alarming extent. It would require considerable searching to 
locate the store of the originator of the idea. 



Two terms have been employed throughout this chapter, 
"technique" and "medium." They are inseparable as used in 
the present connection. Technique is secured by the use of 
certain mediums. The artist who works wholly in tempera may 
create a technique at once distinctive and characteristic. This 
is equally true of all mediums, and because they have very materi- 
ally increased in number, encouraged by reproductive processes, 
advertising profits by the ever-changing pictorial background 
at its command. There need be little monotony and a mini- 
mum amount of duplication. 

Fig. 17. — Particularly ingenious blend of line drawing, with halftone tints 
and splatter-work. Ben Day textures are also employed. Became a dis- 
tinctive treatment for a year's advertising. 

A manufacturer of kitchen ranges was seven years in bringing 
his product to the correct point of visval attractiveness. Aside 
from its known mechanical perfection, he argued that the looks 
of the range was equally indispensable as a business asset. For 
people would, in a measure, judge quality by how the product 
"filled the eye." It is related that he was another seven years 
hitting upon an art atmosphere which served the same psycho- 
logical purpose. 

Medium is rigidly influenced by the place of its appearance as 
an advertisement. If, for example, a series is to concentrate on 
farm appeal and is to l)e advertised in agricultural publications, 
certain things are prohibited. Because of the grade of paper 
stock used and the quality of the printing, provision must be 
made in advance to insure adequate results. It nuist be nj^parent 
that involved pen techniques or fine half-tone plates will run an 


inevitable risk when exposed to the mechanical vagaries of this 
field. True, some agricultural periodicals use better stock than 
othei-s, and some take infinite i^ride in handling the most involved 
plates, but the aggregate field regulates the situation. It would 
mean greatly added effort to individualize plate-making over the 
entire list. 

How much better it is, then to recognize limitations in advance, 
and to select mediums and techniques which will be along the 
lines of least mechanical resistance. Newspaper campaigns of 
wide distribution introduce the same approximate hazards. 
To select arbitrarily, as an instance of this, half-tones from photo- 
graphs for a list of 100 newspapers in various parts of the country, 
would mean challenging the inevitable. 

Some illustrations, where conditions are ideal; would dis- 
prove the theory that half-tone work for newspaper use, is 
inadvisable, while the showing in the very next newspaper 
reproduction, dim, clogged with ink, robbed of its detail, would 
as surely vindicate the practice. 

Mediums and techniques are dictated, then, by several fairly 
obvious considerations. 

To recapitulate briefly: 

1. Known mechanical limitations of advertising schedule. 

2. Extent of individuality required in the campaign. 

3. Character of the advertising's atmosphere, as related to 
the product. 


Advertisers have found, through close observation and tabula- 
tions kept on campaigns, that where a "family resemblance" 
is sustained, throughout a series of advertisements over a given 
period, the results are far more satisfactory than when each piece 
of copy stands independently as a unit, unrelated to that which 
has gone before and to that which follows. 

These "family campaigns" are everywhere in evidence and 
increasingly popular. Doubtless they will constitute one of 
the fundamental fixtures in advertising. Continuity of art has 
much to do with their success. 

Thus, at the inception of a campaign, the advertiser hits upon 
some one basic theme, whose ramifications, constantly changing 
in one way or another, nevertheless revert to a text which was 
given in the initial advertisement. 

The problem of the artist is automatically decreased. He is 
not at a loss for some new subject with every individual adver- 
tisement. He has only to brush up the original idea, giving it a 
different angle, a novel twist of conception. 

Some of these pictorial backgrounds endure for years, and 
never seem to outlive their usefulness, at last becoming a fixed 
and indestructible part of the selling policy, while others outlive 
their usefulness and are replaced by fresh viewpoints. 

The idea finds its highest degree of serviceability in providing 
the advertiser with an exclusive "atmosphere" where the field 
is competitive and where a like product is freely exj)loited in the 
same pul)lications. 

To attract and to hold the interest of the public in the face of 
such an ever-growing volume of advertising is no small respon- 
sibility. The artist here finds one of his most fruitful oppor- 
tunities, and many advertising successes of a decade can trace 
their campaign successes to the fertile mind and talented brush 
which make a scries say: "I am unlike all others. I am an idea 



apart. You are compelled to remember mc because I have an 
individuality wholly my own." 

Certain campaigns will be memorable generations from now, 
and should have a place in this chronicle, as examples of the best 
of their kind. 

For many yeare, one advertiser, the Bon Ami companj'-, has 
capitalized, pictorially a certain familiar and satisfactorily 
"human" type of housewife, whose smiling face and productive 
activity about her home, have become a virtual trade mark. 
However the backgrounds and the activities may change, these 
busy women bear a common resemblance. Something in their 
simple dress, their infectious smiles, the very cheerfulness with 
which they tackle the cleaning responsibilities of their habita- 
tions, gives them cumulative interest. It is an instance of subtle- 
ties of art, no one of which is too aggressive, turned to excellent 
advertising account. You will always know a Bon Ami 

Observe with what a great degree of cleverness, the Vacuum 
Oil Company has standardized the human symbol of friction — 
a leering, devilish, ghostly character, not a trade mark, in the 
true sense, but a unifying influence running through the cam- 
paigns of years. 

The only danger attendant upon the use of such pictorial 
devices is that of a monotony of theme or a sameness of the general 
result. If this creeps in, the idea ought to be immediately 
abandoned. But, as in the case of the symbol of friction, for- 
ever retarding human progress, compositions and backgrounds 
change with such surprising celerity that the public is not con- 
scious of a too great insistence. 

The most simple and apparently obvious expedients serve the 
same purpose of continuity. A shoe manufacturer employed 
with such pronounced regularity the idea of life-sized "portraits" 
of his various models of shoes, splashed boldly on the magazine 
page, that this alone finally became a mark of advertising 

Years ago, the advertising for Perfection oil heaters introduced 
a contented cat crouched in the friendly glow of the heater. 
It was a visualization of perfect comfort. Everyone knows that a 
cat will invariably seek the snuggest place in the house on a chilly 
day. And, from the inception of the idea, this picture-thought 
has characterized all Perfection Heater advertising. However 


the compositions may change and however important the human 
interest features may become, the sociable, purring tabby is 
present — a fixed, unchangeable Perfection feature. 

California, to a large extent, in all her advertising activities, 
has made characteristic hand-drawn lettering a mark of ready 
identification, and with a broadmindedness which makes it 
apply, not to any one advertising account, but to the majority. 

A refiner of motor-car lubricant allows a transparent down- 
pour of oil, reproduced in color, to hold public attention and to 
unify, not alone a series but also several campaigns, although 
the main illustrations differ widely. The appearance, in every 
display, of the golden-colored "skein" of Texaco was not long in 
making its impress upon consumer consciousness. 

A dentifrice employs the idea of "the danger line" and visual- 
izes, by means of a dotted path, drawn across the mouths of 
all characters shown, the insidious point at which decaying 
enamel begins. Thus the advertising is differentiated from all 
other competitive pictorial compositions. 

"Giving wings to words" is a catch phrase which swings open 
the illustrative door for a typewriter campaign, and permits 
the artist wide latitude in accumulatively engrossing composi- 
tion, each one born of the parent idea, as winged figures become 
beautiful symbols of the language of the keyboard. 

A peculiar technique in retouching inanimate subjects some- 
times serves as a sufficiently characteristic peg upon which to 
hang a connected series. An artist's individuality of style, of 
pen, of brush, or of pencil handling can be made to serve the 
same purpose. 

A coffee campaign has cemented its physical dress by the quite 
simple expedient of featuring only character study heads, painted 
for the most part, by the same artist and in the same technique. 
These heads, coupled with hands which raise dainty coffee cups, 
seem to spell out the trade name of the product at every appear- 
ance. Thus, it is not always the startling, ingenious, or clever 
art idea which dominates the "family" plan. Sticking ever- 
lastingly at some peculiarity of form or argument or technique 
l)ecomes the i-oal answer. 

One advorliser of hoisery drops human interest illustrations 
altogether and concentrates, season after season, on ornate 
border effects, devised by a master-hand in this dei)artment. 
And the charm and period fidelity of the decorations provide 



Fig. is. 

Left and Center. — "The Shadow of the Pen," as a standardized catch-phrase, 
permits the varied use of one illustrative theme in a series of allied advertise- 
ments. Sameness has not been allowed to endanger the idea, however. 

Right. — Throughout a year of advertising, an accumulative pictorial theme 
was successfully employed — namely, to introduce animated scenes and figures 
as if coming from the mouth of the reproducer. 

Fig. 19. 

Left. — Few Auto-Lite advertisements appear without the familiar study of 
the dainty, slippered foot. Its repetition, always in some new guise, has pro- 
vided campaign continuity. 

Right. — To elaborate and vnsualize the basic selling idea of "Wrought from 
Solid Silver," the illustrative scheme shown herewith was made into a stand- 
ardized unit for use always in all advertising. 



desirable atmosphere of quality appeal, aside from giving the 
scries continuity. 

"The shadow of the pen" is a characteristic example of the 
dominant idea, brought to life through imaginative illustrations, 
yet never permitted to get into a rut. In the series referred to, 
the obsolete methods of the old-style bookkeeper are raised to 

Throughout the wliole \\u\c world 
are Harrison cooled automobiles 


Fio. 20. — A coiitiiuiity-idca, whcroljy bj- placing different illustrative themes in 
the mesh of the radiator of automobiles, a connected, serialized storj^ is told. 

ridicule and made to appear painfully inadequate, as compared 
with modern machines with almost human minds. And over 
all the manifold activities of the clerical world, a great, heroic 
pen, casts its telltale shadow. Of such material is the individual- 
zod campaign made, aided, of course, by sympathetic art. 
The same result may be secured in dKTerent ways; some of 
the more important are: 



1. Distinctive borders, adhered to with continuity, 

2. Technique of illustration. 

3. Trade mark characterizations, animated and put through 
their paces. 

4. A firm symbol, device, or insignia, employed as a standard- 
ized mortise or ornament. 

5. The story of the product's manufacture or the interesting 
narrative of how its ingredients are obtained — perhaps from far 
countries, illustrated as a serial might be. 

Fiu. 21. 

Left. — A widely heralded phrase, suggesting that four out of every five persons 
suffer from pyorrhea, permits an illustrative theme with clever continuity. 
Changes in the composition give needed variety. 

Center. — The pictorial idea was originated of suggesting the Klaxon's warn- 
ing by means of a forked flash, and as this theme plays an important part in 
every illustration throughout a connected campaign, the proper continuity was 

Right.— The traditional thing, in advertising underwear, would be, of course, 
to show people wearing the garments but a new approach was devised by ani- 
mating merely the product against contrasting backgrounds. The pictorial 
idea has been used for several seasons. 

6. A catch phrase which is filled to brimming with imaginative 
material, employed as the inspiration for a series of illustrations. 

7. The adventures of a certain group of characters who are 
retained for the period of the entire campaign. 



Campaigns listed in this category, as a matter of fact, arc, 
indeed, serial stories of the product, but the physical attribut<}S 
and embellishments are depended upon to call the public's 
attention to the fact. 

The future of your motor 

depends on the "film of protection 


Uce fiom IvT 
: AnJ the tc^ 
, the bcrt mol 

ihin a. uuiv. miunlll 
a> iiUc. lauth <u iinl. 

■n- IS 

'In. ti 




frlcritin. ThcTT C4U«- 73',^ <i( ail msitur repair., 
"n>ry thintcn t'lW ii%'C5 of more niotors rh«i 
•II nth«T causes combincJ. And cvctv mintitc 
you drive yaui car the>' threaten yotjr motwr. 

^ motor^'tjoh 

Ir U TOur rruitot'Oil's }i>b, aitd ft real |ob. tu 
mMtcr hear nud fni.tion. (t u rhi tml/ u^t 
TO prcvefU trooblc. l~he oil Jov» this by foniv 
inn 3 thin, icnirious 6lm over ill iIht vitjil 
pjrts of the- motiiT. l^n oil'ldm worht. ii« 
wjy Krr*oi» the uhirlinK, flyrni: surracc* and 
prcvriiiA d^nccruus tnct.>l to metal contact. 

But the film itKll niuM tc iMc to wfithannd 
the con«-iat menace of tcjrm^ ermdintc fric- 
tion— the U*h ut~<«arinj:.M:or<:hirK hi::<t. Unthi 
that punithmcnt rh*: film cli>rdin;iiv oil btr^V* 
and curl» up. Thri*uj!h the l-ioltn hliu. mrul 
rhafct a^itut metal Iit-idK>u( htcncm trtt up: 
utim, you don't even Lnow voiii ml ha^ tdjld 

lit K-ari.-.;: i>t a ^urrd t.ylui 

The '^fim of proUctum" 

thai dot* not fail 

Why tAc chanrcs w^ui the future ot jout 
motit.' Give your motn ihcbci* (XrvMblepttv 
tet:tk>n aeairut >W«Jlv hcai and frkiion. Put 
the Veedol "dim ol protectton" on tht Job. 

WhcrcvKf a dealer dUrlavt the ntanttc und 
Mack Vc«ioI itoi. UkjIc for The Ve^ol Mo*..* 
ProTccoon Guide." i chjrt that iclU «4.uh 
V'etOol «hI yi>ur c«i tcqiiirc« Aj>k yiMir dealer 
to dram your crankc-iv ainj vrbi) with the 
cnrtcvr Vcvdolotl. 

Tiilr>XV<-rOitSJr^Con)orpitun.ll Rro«d. 
«^.v.Ncw Ywrk, Chu44»..MU Sniih Racine 
Avi^u*:. SanFrjn.i^P.4MBrjnnjnSu«et. 

MoMtiH. M Ou SttddU Altai 

a-J N'n. EmgUnd \ 

u MiM Iwjl MiJ hrtlom , 

Fig. 22. — "The Film of Protection" automatically, as a catch phrase, pro- 
vided the advertiser with a connected series of over-chanKing illustrations, 
thereby "tying the campaign together." 

Now and again, a trifle, light as air, carries the burden of this 
linked-together family of advertisements, proving that the 



expedient need not necessarily be dominant in its space demands. 
When "Real silk" advertising made its bow to the public, a 
neat little illustrative chord was sounded which has, up to the 
present time, threaded every "piece of copy" together in the 
most modest manner imaginable — the introduction, somewhere 
in every display, of skeins of pure silk, from which single threads 
branch out, arranged into artistic border effects or decorative 

Fig. 23. — This advertiser of underwear gave pictorial continuity to the idea 
of summer discomfort from heat and in a remarkable series of pictures, no two 
alike, adhered to this accumulative policy, showing the plan is not inflexible. 

The examples are legion. It is well, once such a series is 
started, to have the art prepared by the same persons under the 
same auspices, 

A comparatively modern innovation of the family art tie-up 
has taken the place of the set trade-mark character or of the 
company insignia, too precious to be tampered with. A charac- 
teristic name plate, a hand-lettered signature, once sufficed the 
advertiser's needs, but that day has passed in the increased 
volume of advertising and its many-sided pictorial features. 


The campaign for a new product will do well to study the 
possibilities of a connecting art idea. Often, such ideas are 
difficult to uncover. They bear directly upon the advertised 
article itself, or they may draw their inspiration from sei-vicc 
performed or from some inherent human strength or weakness. 

There is undeniable satisfaction to the advertiser in the knowl- 
edge, that, at the expiration of a prolonged campaign, represent- 
ing a considerable expenditure of money, his public looks upon 
the advertising in its collective and aggregate sense. Accidents 
often bring brilliant art ideas to the fore. An initial one-time 
layout, a picture in a certain technique, a characterization of 
strong human appeal, or an argument visualized, may be 
expanded into a series, immediately following the consciousness 
of its unusual value. 


Individuality of art technique, in any of its moods and forms, 
is often made the indentifying feature of an entire advertising 
campaign. Where some serials are thus unified and given an 
exclusive atmosphere by means of an idea rather than by any 
individuality of embellishment, the continuity which is to be 
gained by an exclusive art treatment is equally popular. 

That campaigns profit by what may be looked upon as person- 
ality, an established atmosphere, sympathetic with the type of 
product advertised, is uncontrovertible. This need was by 
no means as pronounced during the earlier period of advertising. 
Today, the volume of advertising and the frequent duplication 
of certain lines and products, with a resultant high-powered 
competition obligates the campaign to establish a character 
peculiarly its own. 

When an advertising schedule becomes, pictorially, a thing of 
shreds and patches, the result is apt to be confusing to the public. 
It would be as inconsistent as to change the physical appearance 
of the product at frequent intervals. 

It has been shown that art technique often assists in estab- 
lishing the inherent character and service of the article. A 
second purpose has to do with this successful tying up of many 
separate displays into a connected campaign throughout which a 
definite art character is sustained. Because of the resourcefulness 
of modern artists, technique has come to mean such compelling 
individuality that a series of advertisements will rise triumph- 
antly from the great mass of such material and leave an unfor- 
getable impression on a large audience. 

With no other feature than that of exclusiveness of technique,' 
a campaign may dominate its field and arouse a country-wide 
appreciation of the art of a series. 

It is instructive, to examine the tactics employed by several 
advertisers who have carried the idea to a climax and who were 
inspired to do it, in the first place, by a commercial need. 



Gorham magazine advertising has created noticeably popular 
acclaim on the strength of an art technique, although in subject 
matter it undertakes only to reproduce well-known articles 
commonly identified with this and other manufacturers. It was 
characteristic of competitive accounts that photographs were 
most generally in use. Certain traditions had always persisted. 
Therefore, if an exclusive character were to be established and 
maintained, the Gorham Company knew that much would depend 
upon art work, an unaccustomed and a new technique. 

From this realization was evolved an extraordinarily beautiful 
pen treatment which carried shading, delicately applied ink 
lines, lights, and shadows, and thoroughness of detail to hereto- 
fore unrealized degrees of finality. The artist painted with a pen. 
Everywhere intense realism was expressed. The eye seemed to 
sense the sincerity of a photographic background although these 
were no mere drawings made over silver prints. Silver forks, 
knives, and spoons glistened with a radiance which only the 
camera had formerly caught; glassware and trim candlesticks 
were characterized by innumerable tiny tricks of natural contrast, 
and shadows were those of posed and photographed realism. 
It seemed inconceivable that a pen and some drawing ink could 
be made to perform such miracles! 

In fact, the sheer artistry and refinement of these illustrations, 
their atmosphere of completeness and charm, and the obvious 
sincerity of their portrayal, could be sensed by the veriest amateur. 
They stopped the indifferent eye; they won the respect of the 
professional. Theirs was an aristocracy of technique. 

Advertising had brought to bear, in this case, a method of pen 
handling which was not common to present-day commercial 
studios. Pedigree flowed from an ink bottle. But quality in 
the execution is no more important than applying a technique at a 
I^sychological hour when others are not employing it for a similar 
purpose. If many competitors have not thought beyond art 
terms of the camera or of original wash illustrations, then it is a 
stroke of business and advertising genius to seek some such new 

An advertiser was examining a series of magazine sketches, 
in preliminary form, as the outline for a complete program, 
when it occurred to him not to have new and detailed illustrations 
paintfMJ, but to reproduce the drafts exactly as they were, retain- 
ing their frank crudities, their unfinished sketchiness, their free- 



Fig. 24. — The Gorham campaign is a very striking example of how technique 
of an original character can be made to supply accumulative interest and dis- 
tinctive advertising atmosphere. The artist has almost literally "painted" 
with his pen. And there is photographic accuracy throughout. 


dom from the customary labored style of picture he had been 
accustomed to using in all previous campaigns. It was a 
daring expedient but it was remunerative. An individuality 
was secured which set the series apart from more than thirty 
other illustrated campaigns then running, for the same type of 

Wood engraving had almost gone out of style and was rarely 
met with save in rare old books and early editions, when an 
enterprising advertiser, conscious of the artistic possibilities of 
this technique as applied to the media on his list, found a veteran 
wood engraver who designed a striking campaign of original 
blocks. Before competition set in and the field was his 
alone, this idea accomplished the desired objective — a serialized 
individuality of style. 

It may be true that there is nothing new under the sun and 
that for every technique now appearing, there is an exact coun- 
terpart in the files of a past art era, but any advertiser who first 
resuscitates one of these schools is justified in his contention 
that a new technique has been found. 

Technique is, in the last analysis, an expression of the indi- 
viduality of the artist, and the years bring us the equivalent of 
revolutionary ideas in this regard. Advertisers have merely to 
secure the services of these artists to acquire, for the time being 
at least, an atmosphere exclusively their own. It is unfortunate 
that there are so many adaptions. 

Excellence of art as art, perfection of draftsmanship, docs not 
alone satisfy the advertiser's demand for illustrations which 
are to be atmospheric as to technique and individualistic in the 
matter of surrounding a product and its campaign with exclusive 
dress. The thing is deeper than that. It is believable that a 
picture which may be somewhat weak as a "work of art" may 
serve an invaluable advertising purpose because of its technique. 

The modern advertiser deliberately commissions illustrators, 
who have not been identified with commercial work, to create 
drawings, both because of the artists' peculiar methods or medi- 
ums, and because of the untranmieled atmosphere they bring 
from book and magazine experience. 

Pen-and-ink drawing attracts the eye; it is a technique, con- 
sidered as a whole tliat ai)poars to mystify many. The brush 
holds less of illusion to non-professionals, the i)ul)lic in general. 
A pen can be made to weave these fascinating magic tapestries 


of form and feeling. Therefore, it is only natural that this 
medium should be much in favor and that its practically limitless 
range is constantly i)roviding original atmosphere. 

Fig. 25. — Pen and ink illustrations of a peculiarly intricate and detailed 
character, used to supply campaign atmosphere and to lift the scries out of the 
commonplace. It is almost inconceivable that human patience could be trained 
to produce such methodical studies. (Greatly reduced.) 

The Notaseme illustrations, reproduced in this chapter, are 
marvels of patient and unusual pen technique. The public, 
accustomed to seeing such products pictured in wash or in photo- 
graph, is somewhat startled to find that a pen can so perfectly 
elaborate intricate detail. Pen drawings, therefore, constitute 


promising material for a campaign; thej^ are practically certain 
of concentrated attention and reflective consideration. "How 
is it done?" is a query which need not make the advertiser feel 
that attention is divided between the product and the physical 
"non-essentials" of illustration. An old subject has been han- 
dled in a new spirit and with a mysteriously engrossing technique. 

It was not because pen and ink had not been used during 
prior campaigns that the present Notaseme series immediately 
commands respect and consideration, but because the artist 
has handled this technique with a fresh vision and a more start- 
ling degree of painstaking attention to intricate detail. 

Elsewhere in this volume the highly diversified techniques 
in sundry mediums are discussed and analyzed at length, but 
each application has brought to its own campaign some notable 
and exclusive feature, an individuality which was made a busi- 
ness asset. 

An advertising technique may go further than the personality 
of the individual. To attract attention of a favorable character, 
is an advertising requisite, in the hurrjang traffic of campaigns. 
If all advertisements wore the same color and the same kind of 
clothes, what would be the inevitable result? 

If, on the other hand, a technique, in its desire for the spot- 
light of popular public attention, overreaches its mark and sinks 
to the flagrant, the unreasoning, the illogical and the super- 
sensational, it would certainly be as illegitimate as if the opinion- 
ate and self-sufficient pedestrian in a suit of vivid vermilion con- 
gested highways. There must always be a tempering restraint 

One advertiser, overzealous, turned to the weird and inicom- 
promising technique of the futurist for a scries of illustrations 
and was promptly jeered off the advertising highway. 



Advertising art is far more subtle in leaving some things to the 
imagination and in avoiding blatant overemphasis than it once 
was. At one time advertisers believed it necessary to point out 
their products by every conceivable illustrative expedient. 

That certain campaigns and their style of illustration make 
emphasis advisable is not denied. In all the display, there is 
some one point of paramount interest. Perhaps this point 

Fig. 2G. — A characteristic example of directing the eye to the thing advertised, 

by means of the action of a figure composition. The five persons in this com- 
position gravitate around the syrup picture, naturally and with mininniin 
straining for effect. It is wholly possible that a hungry father and his children 
should make much of the breakfast flapjacks and the maple syrup which increases 
their appetizing qualities. 

might be overlooked, or casually considered, due to surrounding 
detail and involved accessories. The advertiser virtually says, 
when he employs pictures of this character, "We call your specific 
attention to this one feature." But there is a saturation point 
bej^ond which forcing attention is really dangerous. The reader 
takes affront at the advertiser's presumption of reader stupidity. 




Legitimate reasons for the use of attention-directing art devices 
are numerous. Some of them are as follows: 

1. Pictorial presentation of a product which is ordinarily 
hidden from sight, 

2. Calling attention to service performed, when the action 
takes place beyond easy eye range. 

Your whole lil'e lon^- 
Acid-Emsion tliMens d 


Just al tk' (diic vtlhe fiums 
-Thav ii/icic the vnaimt ends 

Fiu. 27. 

Upper Left. — A "serialized" attcntion-compeller, which was made the foun- 
dation of an entire series. It is desirable to have the prospect consider a certain 
point just where teeth and gums meet. The dotted lines does this admirably. 

Upper Right. — Leaving no room for doubt as to the desire of the advertiser 
to call specific attention to hosiery. As a general rule, such obvious bits of 
staged action are undesirable, but the artist has skilfully overcome this by the 
beauty of his drawing and the pardonable pride of the attractive figure. 

Lower Left.- — Demonstrating how a basic, directing device, can become an 
important feature for an entire campaign. The silhouetted container, on which 
tlie name is emblazoned very simply, terminates in a showing of Unguentine, 
and this acts as a "pointer" to the important action of the i)icture — a wound 
which requires treatment. The plan here is extraordinarily effective because it 
automatically features the name. 

Lower Riyht. — -A figure, so conceived and posed, that attention is drawn 
instantly to the work of the product — the area of cleaned floor. Contrast as to 
pattern surfaces, and the lines of the woman's body unite in making a "bulls- 
eye" point of visual contact. 

.3. Emphasis placed on a trade mark, in itself unimportant as to 
size and relatively insignificant in the illustration as a whole. 
4. Elaborating upon a feature which is undramatic. 



Fig. 28. 

Upper Left. — The moving stream of transparent oil was made the eye-directing 
feature of an entire series of unified advertisements. 

Upper Right. — A conventional, but business-like method of directing the 
eye to an all-important fact in the advertisement. By his personally conducted 
tour of the eye, in the present instance, the advertiser wishes you to know that 
here is the one, dominant argument in favor of his product. 

Lower Left. — Artistic \ngnetting of an original crayon and wash illustration, 
whereby strength of values tapers off from the article advertised, until it finally 
disappears. The little slippers are in complete detail; not so the remainder of 
the drawing. 

Lower Right. — A small snubber on a large automobile would not make very 
much of a showing if photographed normally, but when the car itself is executed 
in shadowy outline, in grey, and the snubber presented in life-like values, the 
result is to make it the dominant note in the design. 



5. Sorting out a small product which must be shown in a 
picture made up of elaborate detail. 

6. Emphasing a standardized trade name. 

7. The product Hmclightcd to avoid human interest claiming 
first attention and priority of visual study. 

8. Creating visual interest in one important technical phase of 
a large object. 

Ojfa inur'DcrJiili AiUv^' ' 

Fio. 29.— Primitive and obvious, but never failing of its directing purpose. 
An arrow is a symbol of both speed and accurate designation and sweeps \'ision 
along with it, however old it may be as a de\'ice. In this case, looping the tail 
of the arrow around an attractive head, provides a new note. 

9. Center-of-stage position for an important bit of action. 
10. Objects not inherently interesting or attractive made to 
take on a fictitious importance. 

The use of figures and of vivid characterization in modern 
advcrtishig has greatly increased the need for pictorial tricks 



which will counteract the power of human interest. Take, for 
example, an illustration showing a number of people in a room 
and the article advertised as anything from breakfast cereal to 
an ornate lamp: the characters, if in action, may very easily 
dominate the scene, with the product itself a poor second. This 
would not be good advertising. Because, when all is said and 
done, the function of the illustration is to sell goods. That is 
its excuse. It must pay for the space it occupies. True enough. 

Fig. 30. 

Upper Left. — The advertisement talks specifically and interestingly of the 
player-roll, which is really the theme of the message. By staging the action 
along scientific lines, the artist also concentrates attention upon this point. A 
player piano roll is an intricate thing and the interest shown in it is therefore 

Upper Right. — An admirably conceived figure composition, wherein the 
various characters portrayed concentrate their attention on the product. And 
just as these men look first at the Humidor Sampler, so will the reader join in 
the spirit of the occasion. 

Lower Left. — The mechanical solution of a little problem in featuring a difficult- 
to-feature product. Under ordinary circumstances, the article advertised 
would be inconspicuous, lost in the preponderance of surrounding detail. In 
the original, the enclosed area surrounding the Equalizer was run in a brilliant 
red. The example is taken from an automotive journal. 

Lower Right. — A happy example of a figure composition, in which the action 
is so staged as to direct vision unerringly to the receiving set. Moreover, facial 
expressions assist in this, although it is all quite natural. Such illustrations 
demand intelligent "stage direction" or they will appear forced. 

pictures are sometimes for atmospheric purposes only. But 
the great majority are admittedly commercial and are members 
of the sales force. 



Fig. 31. 

Upper Left. — The pointing finger never fails of its objective, and while the 
expedient was one of the first to make its appearance in advertising — and on the 
public highways — it is just as effective as ever. Here the advertiser has expe- 
dited matters by eliminating detail from the bottle itself. 

Upper Right. — An artistically posed photographic study of hands, with 
emphasis placed on the trade mark name signature, which is the keynote of the 
advertisement. It is accomplished with undue affectation. 

Lower Left. — It is expedient for the manufacturer to direct public attention to 
a specific feature of his product, in this case, a delicate skein of blue thread 
which runs through the core of a trade-marked rope. It is a mark of true identi- 
fication. Vigorous hands, untwisting a length of rope, suj^ply action which 
in turn directs the gaze to this part of the illustration. 

Lower Right. — "Zones" of eye-interest, frankly mechanical, but justified by 
the intricate points the advertiser wishes to make, while designating the several 
talking features of his product. Merely discussing thorn in the text would not 
accomplish this. 



When an artist so plots his story and his composition as to 
bend all action in the general direction of the product advertised, 
he fulfils his real obligation. Thus, children might be eagerly 
reaching for the breakfast cereal or a contented visitor might 
give visual demonstration of the comfort and utilitarian virtues 
of the sitting-room lamp. It is when such carefully staged 
dramatics become too far-fetched, unreal, and strained that 

Fig. 32. — Despite an unusual amount of distracting detail, represented by the 
dream background, the eye is first concerned with the typewriter which is the 
advertised product. Action is responsible for this, the alert fingers and intent 
pose of the boy responsible. 

unpleasant reactions are inevitable. An instance : On a railroad 
crossing, with an express train in sight, a box of groceries has 
fallen from a wagon, and is in imminent peril of being demolished. 
The driver of the wagon is shown running pellmell in the direction 
of the tracks, bent on rescuing the product which is concerned 
in the advertisement. He is on the point of risking his life for 
so small a consideration. 


Such illustrations, being false, unnatural, and obviously forced, 
defeat their own purpose. True, the eye is led unerringly to 
the box of gelatine, despite a preponderance of other action and 
detail, but the picture is wrong at its foundation. The reader is 
asked to believe that this simple product is more precious than 
liuinan life. 

Fi<;. 33. — A narrative type of picture, 80 ingeniously thought out and so 
skilfully handled as to composition, that the watch in the man's hand is \-irtually 
a visual "Ijullseyc." So i)owerful is this contact that not even the smiling face 
of the father, looking straight out at the reader, proves a counter-attraction. 

It will be well to summarize the conspicuously successful art 
methods by which attention is concentrated and the eye made to 
give prior consideration to some one element in the illustration. 

Place action first for a scientific reason. Even the most slug- 
gish and indifTeront eye responds to the moving object, to the 



suggestion of speed, and to any intimation of movement. Action 
is more peremptory than the pointing finger, the arrow, the 
(h)ttcd line, or the enclosing circular lines, as, say, parenthesis 
marks. Action achieves the objective in a natural manner. 
There arc any number of vivid examples of this newer idea in 
concentrated attention, such as the transparent flow of oil, 
used serially, for an automobile lubricant, a falling indestructible 
thermos bottle, a fountain pen writing its own messages, a salad 
dressing, always pictured as pouring in a thin stream from its 
container. Action is invented which leads the mind as well as 
the eye, to the article advertised. 







61^ "^CS 

Fig. 34.— An example of indirect attention-compelling value. The eye auto- 
matically turns to the floor which is being splashed. Product advertised — 

In figure composition, it is the action of the characters that 
direct vision. As they look, so does the reader. The reaching 
hand, the concentrated gaze, the smiling features, the tilted head, 
the step forward, are all attention riveters. For the moment, 
at least, the reader enters into the spirit of the little advertising 
play. Therefore it is entirely possible for an illustration to 
carry numerous figures, involved story, and intensified back- 
ground detail, without for a moment sacrificing the due which 
belongs to the smallest article in the composition. 

Light is a vigorous directing influence. And in light there is 
action. The silhouetted rays of sunshine filtering into a shadowy 
room, the blaze of automobile headlights, the illumination of a 
lamp, the golden deluge breaking through storm clouds, and the 
glow from a window, are all possibilities. 



To what extent light can become an active principle of con- 
centrated vision, is shown in a page illustration for walnuts. 
There is no visible source of light, but by warm reflections, dull 
yellows and red, touches of contrasting color, the walnuts 
become oddly animated, if this word may be employed. The 
reader does not actually see it, but an open hearth somewhere 
near, is surely responsible for the lighting. And it is this light- 
ing which, despite accessories and figures in the background, 
draws the eye directly to thing advertised. It is more potent 
than the human action. 

Fig. 35. 

Left. — An illustration of the homely "human interest" school wliich nevethe- 
less, despite its abundance of detail and its three characters, cnanages to make 
the product dominant. There is nothing complex in this; Grandmother and the 
younsters are shrewdly "stage-directed" to guide the eye to Jello and the making 
of it. 

Right. — Attention concentrates upon the musical instrument, while enjoying 
the humor of tlie composition as a whole. The artist has so composed his canvas 
that accessories and action "play to the product" admirably. 

Then there is the attention-compellcr, which is largely mechani- 
cal and which depends upon technique, arbitrary compositions 
or unique and distinctive devices drawn in bj^ the artist. 

A manufacturer is concerned only, as a concrete example, with 
a single part of an automobile. It may be a very small accessory. 
Airbrushing the photograph or original drawing in an even 
tint, save where the product appears, presents the product and 



fogs the remainder of the illustration. Such designs are com- 
paratively easy to make. A semi-transparent spray of white 
paint is blown upon the exposed surface, gradually cutting down 
its strength. Adhesive tissue protects the advertiser's product 
from this treatment during the airbrushing. By covering the 
tires of an automobile photograph with frisket and airbrushing 
every other part in white, the tires would be strongest by con- 
trast, and the car proper a specter, although complete as to detail. 
Photographs of figures may be handled in the same manner, 
although retouching by a more artistic process is the preferable 

Fig. 36. — A dramatic method of featuring the advertised article in an illus- 
tration made up of other pictorial ingredients. The coach is in delicate pen 
outline; likewise the background detail. The tires are in wash, and therefore 
"stand out" in a telling manner. Such effects are obtained by the use of 
combination plates, line and halftone. 

method, since it allows gradations of tint, accidental effects, 
and vignetting akin to an original illustration, rendered in wash, 
crayon or pencil. 

Some attention-compelling art tricks form the basis of serialized 
campaigns, advertisers making them the foundation of an entire 
series and occasionally of a connected effort covering several 
years. By drawing circles in white or in black around the mouths 
of various interesting types of people, an advertiser of throat 
tablets centralized attention at this point and illustrated a catch 
phrase, "the danger zone." 

By the simple expedient of stopping-out the teeth on pictures 
of smiling faces, with abruptly drawn da.shes of white, another 
advertiser conceived a standardized attention-compeller which 
was used continuously for several years. The campaign gained 
by continuity and by its own monthly momentum. 



There are certainly occasions when an advertiser must direct 
specific and concentrated attention to one part of his product, 
while illustrating all of it. It may be some exclusive method of 

Fk;. liT. 

Left. — A quiet, unobtrusive and altogether artistic method of guiding the eye 
to the advertised product. The more subtle compositions are sometimes best. 

Right.— The bed and its coverings require no pointing arrow or other device 
to cause the reader to glance undcrstandingly in that direction 

Fig. 38. — The i he figure, admiring the artii'lc hold, plus the shrewd 

subduing of all tones, in order to "bring out" the sheet, automatically direct 
the eye to it. 

manufacture, some feature of construction which gives it selling 
impetus, or a mark of identification not usually seen or looked 
for by the purchaser. 



Why this New 
motor Breathes 

I iiqiiestion.ihl> 

die mo!.t popular 
driver itsed today 


Fig. 39. 

Upper Left. — One of the important selling arguments of this product, is the 
fact that it almost literally "breathes," thus cooling, automatically, its own 
fast-running mechanism. The wisps of vapor, leading up to the "gills" of the 
motor, take the eye along with them and the advertising point of contact is 
quickly established. 

Upper Right. — However much action and human interest there may be in this 
animated picture, the eye fairly races to the small watch. Why? Because, in 
composing his illustration, the artist has placed it strategically. All motion 
leads to it. The story is constructed around it. 

Lower Left. — Bringing out the product, over all other detail in the picture, 
by means of intensifying its strength in the rendering, and the action of the 
hand. Note that bag, clubs and hand are all in "fadeaway" art treatment. 

Lower Right. — No arrow, no pointing finger, could more positively lead the 
eye to the center of selling interest — the little toy bed which has been freshly 
varnished. True, this toy is of secondary importance, but in a human-interest 
illustration of this character, it deserves the lime-light. 



And these cases validate what might be considered commercial 
devices of an inartistic type, but which nevertheless impress the 
prospect with a necessary argument. Trade investigations 
brought one manufacturer to the conclusion that whatever else 
he did, his advertising illustrations should insistentl}' call atten- 
tion to the processes of production which carried color in linoleum 
patterns through to the under side, thus making them longer 
lived and more serviceable. Pictorially, this theme meant more 
to the trade than did vistas of beautiful rooms and painstaking 

Fig, 40. — Candy plays a more unpurtaiit i):iri man ciiaractcrs as the action 
leads up to this certain visual climax. 

reproductions of recent patterns. Arrows in black and of widely 
different shapes and sizes were featured, and the linoleum turned 
back to catch the arrow contacts. It was not artistic advertising 
but it was advertising logic, applied at a time when retailers and 
road salesmen representing the company alike concurred in the 
strategic wisdom of the policy. 

Devices such as have been described arc useful as pictorial 
demonstrators. They represent that periodic emphasis which is 
a desirable quality in the course of any campaign. 

It is characteristic of advertised products today that they 
individually boast features which differentiate them from com- 
petitive goods. To familiarize the public with such elements 
is more significant than any glorification of the product as a whole. 


Such ideas, well illustrated, make campaigns non-interchange- 
able, and it is so often contended that by the mere exchange of 
the name, one series of displays would serve just as well for like 

The eye remains faithful to signposts. Vision is as surely 
guided as are mental processes. In advertising design, there is 
nearly always one dominant point of visual contact, or an action 
or a detail which should come in for concentrated study. The 
artist is supplied with a remarkable equipment for forcing vision 
to do his bidding. Such illustrations as appear in connection 
with this chapter prove the variety of his implements and the 
imaginative quality of the pictorial drama he has grown to 


There are sharp clashes of opinion as to the ethics of the adver- 
tising illustration which is a unit in its own right and which 
carries little or no reading matter. 

One significant fact, however, seems to be overlooked, that 
no advertiser makes a practice of the method. It is an idea 
which is employed now and then, more or less as a luxury, per- 
haps, a deviation from sameness, or a relaxation. It is rarely done 
except when some powerful idea is aptly visualized. Unques- 
tionably, there is something to the argument that the reading 
public is asked to perform a heroic and seK-sacrificing service, 
when advertising, in the aggregate, day by day and month after 
month, offers an inexhaustible cmbarassment of riches. 

The self-sufficient all-illustration advertisement is introduced 
into the campaign for the following reasons: 

To get a story across quickly. 

To give the public a breathing spell. 

To highlight a continuous campaign. 

To provide advertising novelty. 

To make a big splash. 

To put across one dominant thought. 

To get away from the conventional forms. 

To surround the product with atmosphere. 

To make sure of the maximum reader attention. 

Certain advertisers approach the problem with reasoning which 
goes somewhat as follows : 

There will be literally hundreds of advertisements in the 
magazine, the majority of which make heavy demands upon 
eyes and minds of the reader. It is not Hkely that the elaborated 
text of all of these advertisements will be digested. This is 
asking too much. If, therefore, a picture can be originated which 
shall at once and at a single glance tell an interesting and con- 
vincing sales story and automatically name the product, it is apt 
to :«,ttract the larger percentage. They can't overlook it or pass 




it b}'. There is an approximation of 100 per cent reader value. 
It will be impossible to turn the pages of the publication without 
seeing the advertisement and then the readers are held on two 
counts, the necessity of at least seeing the picture and the added 
assurance of their interest because of the unusual and spectacular 
character of the display and the idea. 

The self-sufficient advertising illustration is not unlike a 
pictorial and descriptive drop curtain, between the acts of a 


Fig. 41. 

Left.- — The Lady of Quality speaks volumes for the product. An atmosphere 
has been created, which requires no lengthy explanation. 

Right. — The Cream of Wheat page suggests that the product is the conerstonc 
of health and is content with this "reminder." 

play, in the campaign sense. It makes few exactions and it 
makes it easier for the sluggish mind and the disinterestetl 
individual. It is the difference, to put it in a different way, 
between a picture gallery and a library. 

But it must be granted that there are pictures which tell 
complete stories and which exact the most assiduous study and 
retrospection. Have you not seen persons stand for a long 
time before an inspired canvas. The imagination is given free 
play, where there is only picture. Text does the thinking and 
the dream weaving for the reader. 



There is a certain famous canvas, a battle scene, painted by a 
French artist, of which it has been said that it more positively 
and dashingly describes this battle than five chapters of descrip- 
tion in a history of the period. The artist has painted the story 
with a brush. 

Advertising makes the same claims for certain types of com- 
mercial illustrations. They are labor saving where the public 
is concerned. They conserve time. They are posters in minia- 
ture, and, as such, serve a useful purpose. But it is seldom 
contended that this form of advertising is the best practice when 

Fig. 42. — Could words add very much to this charming study of home life. 
The reader will visualize his own story of a refreshing bath in an immaculate 
bath-room, and the equally refreshing sleep which naturally follows. Uncom- 
mercial, highly artistic, and, as reproduced, page size, in full color, a welcome 
interlude in a campaign made up, for the most part of more business-like views 
of the products in question. 

employed continuously^ although there are some successful 
instances on record. 

Pass down the salon of a number of advertisers who have 
broken in upon more ethical campaigns, with periodic illustra- 
tions, complete in themselves. Note that in almost everj^ case 
the subjects selected and the picture stories told are so complete 
and so convincing that they are no more than written arguments, 
put into another and very delightful form. And it should be 
remembered that pictures have universal appeal. They were 
our first means of communication They arc inherent in the 
progress of the world. 


Pictures may be interpreted by all races and those who speak 
ail tongues. They require little or no translation. Often, 
they convey messages which words would fall short of bringing 
to life. This is particularly true of sentiment, of romance, of 
the imaginative qualities of people, and of deeds. 

Here is a picture, in charming color, of an attractive mother 
placing a tiny, sunny-haired boy in his crib. He is chuckling, 
happy, dimpled, and radiant with health. It is the twihght 
hour, and he will soon be in dreamland. Through a partially 
opened door may be seen the product advertised, an immaculate 
and ultra-modern bathroom with gleaming fixtures and appoint- 
ments. The luxury of the better type of bathroom, its health- 
giving, sleep-provoking virtues are all told in the canvas, without 
a word of explanatory text; indeed, it would appear that words 
are superflvious The pictures tells the story, and automatically 
creates a desire for such a bathroom with just such fixtures. 
True, the name of the product and its manufacturer, together 
with the address, is appended, as a sort of modest postscript, 
but in no other place does copy intrude. 

Now study the page, also in colors, of a scene in a Pullman 
car. Two fine types of men, at ease, lounge back in their chairs. 
A well-groomed porter is filling their glasses with a widely adver- 
tised beverage. These men show on their faces every essential 
copy fact that : 

The beverage tastes good. 

They have tried it before and know it is good. 

It is crisp and cool and refreshing. 

They prefer it to any other brand. 

They are altogether pleased. 

It must be a beverage consumed by discriminating men. 

It is available everywhere — even on trains. 
The picture has written the copy for this advertisement and 
has done it ingeniously, without effort. The man whose eyesight 
is poor docs not have to adjust his glasses. There is everything 
in the power of expression and in a created artistic atmosphere. 
These are indeed translatable into words. 

No advertisement in the past fifteen years has caused more 
controversy than a certain Jell-0 page which was entirely lacking 
in text. The sole printed message was the stenciled name of 
the product on the packing case around which the entire action 
revolves. The impression created by the picture is that a man, 



.V .-.■ ■ ■:-!:Lv-^.j-g.'aa.«:jfttMia*a»aa<f <ii^i»a»atogA>a 


1 i<;. -i;i. 

Upper Left. — Never a word of text, aside from the familiar lettering on the 
package of candy. The advertiser seeks to thus periodically familiarize the 
public with a business asset — the trade mark character and is willing to devote 
the entire page to it. 

Upper Righl. — One of a scries of poster pages, in which whimsical illustrations 
are made to take the place of conventional text. 

Lower Left. — This picture, originally reproduced in two jjlca-^ing colors, from a 
color original, really docs not require any sales copy at all, although two words 
have been included. The expressions of the faces, the thoroughly natural 
posing of the figures and the story woven into them allows the reader to form 
his own quite logical conclu.sions. 

Lower Riyht. — A very charming example of dominant illustration, occupying 
practically all of the page space, and imaginatively conceived to allow the reader 
to "write the text for himself," 


Fig. 44. 

Upper Left. — A three-word caption is the sole attempt at explanatory text. 
But is reading matter necessary? Very obviously, the little boy knows what is 
good and is giving sister the one important present in all the world. 

Upper Right. — -"People have no time to read long copy," is a familiar cry. 
Advertisers who suspect that there is some truth in this punctuate campaigns 
with such simple, direct messages as the above, where the illustration puts 
across a selling message. 

Lower Left. — The only text appears in very small stenciled letters on the side 
of the packing case. It indicates that the crate contains a certain oil range. 
Although there is no copy, it is at once apparent that the product is a welcome one. 

Lower Right. — Storms of controversy have blown over this mcmor:il)le adver- 
tisement with opinions widely divergent as to its value. The suggestion is that 
the owner of the case of Jell-0 values it almost as much as he does his life. 


living in the outlying districts, is homeward bound, (hiving a 
team of horses. A case of the product, which he is taking home 
because it is good enough to buy in bulk, has dropped from the 
end of the wagon and fallen on the track of a railroad. A train 
is approaching rapidly around a bend. Soon it will destroy the 
box. And up the road, pellmell, runs the man, intent on rescu- 
ing this prized possession. Not even an oncoming engine can 
stop him. 

The contention is made by some that this is a gross exaggera- 
tion, that no sane person would risk his life for a box of Jell-0 
and that it is an impossible situation. Nevertheless, it has been 
one of the most discussed advertisements of years. A great 
man}' people have commended it and smiled over its amusing 
drama. It is not within the province of this volume to pass 
upon advertisements such as this either its approval or condemna- 
tion. The illustration is given as an example of the type of all- 
picture display which tells a story directly associated with the 

Passing along the salon canvases, one now comes to a picture 
beautifully conceived and painted, and as expertly reproduced 
from full-color plates. It is also for Jell-0 and is one of the 
same remarkable series. 

Scene — a dim room, a library, with a central table upon which 
wedding presents are piled high — silver and gold and cut-glass 
gifts in a gorgeous assortment. On the floor, there are silver 
spoons in cases, vases, a clock, obviously hastily removed from 
the table, to make room for what a small boy considers of greater 
importance. It is a box of Jell-0, tied with a white silk bow. 
This is his gift to the sister who is to be married which he lifts 
into place with tender solicitude. 

Since so many persons are frankly sentimental, a picture of 
this type is assured of a friendly and receptive audience, in 
advance. Women will appreciate and understand it. They will 
recognize that the little boy has tasted Jell-0 and knows how 
appetizing it is, and that sister has been similarly impressed. 
Now she is going away, and she will miss her favorite dessert. 

The ideal illustration advertisement tells a story which is 
instantaneously worked out by the person looking at it and 
experience proves that it is a privilege people very much enjoy. 
The product advertised invariably holds the center of the stage. 
Action is made to move around it. 


Sometimes the story is one of a service performod; at other 
times, the narrative has to do with pleasures accruing from the 
use of the thing advertised. After all, it is advertising in its 
most primitive and methodical mood. It dispenses with explana- 
tions and reasons why. It makes its point by virtue of ideas, 
situations, and expressions of faces. On other occasions, an 
advertiser may desire to emphasize a trade mark, a product, or 
an advertising character, which, in the past, have been relegated 
to some rather obscure corner. 

The basic idea of the advertisement, which is all picture, has 
been validated to a large degree in recent years by the type of 
art employed. Artists, temperamentally equipped to put heart 
and soul into such canvases, provide studies which dignify them 
to an unprecedented extent and the pubhc is not unconscious of 
this fact, because, very often, these illustrations are signed, and 
these signatures carry prestige and respect. 


There arc purists in advertising who stoutly maintain that 
every part of an advertisement should assist in selhng goods in a 
thoroughly practical manner. Thus, where borders or type- 
mortises are arranged, they should be made up of selling ingredi- 
ents. Why, then, form such devices of irrelevant material? 
Make the border an illustrative theme in itself. IMake it earn its 

A series of layouts was submitted to a man of practical mind, 
and he took exception to the simple black lines which had been 
suggested as an unassuming mortise design. It was his contention 
that these black lines occupied space which cost money, and that 
they failed to justify themselves, because they meant nothing. 

The product advertised was hosiery manufactured of pure silk. 
When challenged to show how anything of a practical character 
could })e done in that limited space, this resourceful man created 
an idea which was used for years. From silk worms and from 
spools and twists of silk, threads were drawn out and made to 
form attractive borders. It will be observed that without 
increase of space, what had formerly been a mere rule, a pen-and- 
ink line, was made to suggest silk thread and therefore linked 
up with the article advertised. 

This instance is mentioned because it shows the modern trend 
in the direction of intensely practical ideas throughout a display. 
Everything is put to work. Where the basic plan of the cam- 
paign calls for unique mortise spaces for text, or where decorative 
borders are considered advantageous, they can easily be given 
an atmosphere which is in complete sympathy with the jiroduct. 
Borders, however, may be employed for a specific purpose 
irrespective of the character of the product. Where an advertiser 
seeks to create an artistic atmosphere, pure decoration accom- 
plishes this, in any of its beautiful period forms. Nothing, 
therefore, in the substance of such borders is asked to tell a story 
or to picture a product. Its artistry suffices to achieve a desired 



objective. It is a frame, a bit of tapestry, a setting for a more 
important unit. Advertisers can, with profit, expend thousands 
of dollars on pure period decoration, regardless of the article 
advertised, and justify the expenditure and the idea. By its 
own inherent grace and charm, it accomplishes for an advertise- 
ment what good clothes and good breeding would accomplish 
for a man. 

The present chapter, however, has less to do with decorative 
affects, than with trick mortises and borders, within which the 
major message is set and which are largely pictorial. Often, a 
product itself becomes the mortise. 

It will be comparatively easy to illustrate the point by referring 
to several campaigns which have made a feature of this practice. 
A lumber company, manufacturing frames for doorways and 
windows, undertook to tell its message to the consumer. Previ- 
ously, the advertising had been addressed wholly to builders, 
contractors, and architects. And with the consumer in mind, the 
campaign must be given added elements of visual interest. 

In page space it was found possible so to mortise out technically 
correct and detailed illustrations of the frames as to leave space 
inside for both type and panoramic pictures. 

This idea may have been less artistic than complicated decora- 
tive border effects, but from a practical standpoint it served a 
far more constructive purpose than non-committal themes 
because of the detail material. The workmanship and technical 
features of these frames could be visualized in large size, w^hereas, 
in the main pictures, the views were long range and lacking in 
manufacturing detail. Every page in the series spoke the 
language of the product. The product itself comprised a dis- 
tinctive border for the message. It was, therefore, a border 
which meant something. 

The application is simple enough where the product lends itself 
to such art treatment. The door-frame is a natural mortise. So 
would be a piston ring, such as is reproduced in this chapter. 
But not all articles fall in with the spirit of the idea and it is here 
that resourcefulness is necessary. 

A not unimportant consideration is the fact that where the 
product proper is mortised out, its showing is heroic as to size. 
An advertiser of fine handkerchiefs achieved a distinctive series 
for a year's campaign, by placing neat blocks of text within the 
detailed outlines of the handkerchiefs. White linen admirably 



Fig. 45. 

Upper Left. — What, could 1)0 more appropriate for this atlverliscr, as a frame 
than his own goods, inKonioiisIy mortised out? 

Upper Right. — A manufacturer of plush upholstery for automobiles frames his 
story and illustration in the product itself. 

Lower Lrfl. — The Arrowhead brand features an arrowhead as its trade mark 
and in order to familiarize the public with this identification design, it was 
made the simple yet effective border sc^hemc for a year's schedule of advertising. 
How much bcKer than mere, incaninKless lines! 

Linvcr liigfit. — -'rho charm and artistic merit of this composition is by no means 
sacrificed because the product forma the natural mortise for text. 


permitted this, and it was only necessary to use discretion in 
the amount of type and its placing. 

A little-realized virtue in this connection has to do with con- 
centration of reader attention. A unique hedge, or wall, has 
been erected around the reading matter. It is confined on all 
sides, not by meaningless border lines and decorations but by 
the thing which is being described in the text. 

There are, nevertheless, a number of restrictions. It is seldom 
advisable, for example, to superimpose text over the detail of a 
product's background. If the product can be opened up, cleared 
of accessories and confusing matter, then well and good. The 
handkerchiefs, for example, were drawn in line and their centers 
were white paper against which type could be compactly set. 
To photograph the object, and allow reading matter to be super- 
imposed over the resultant screen would have been far less 

By spreading one section of an automobile tire chain out and 
by allowing the two side chains and the two cross sets of links to 
form a natural mortise, an advertiser was automatically provided 
with a serialized layout scheme, admirable for his purpose. 

To cut out a mortise in the heart of a product, deliberately 
and arbitrarily, is not a legitimate means of arriving at the type 
of illustration herein described. The article itself must form a 
natur-al and unaffected border. 

Sometimes a trade mark can be used advantageously, when it 
seems desirable to emphasize such symbols and give them unfor- 
getable prominence. A line of hosiery bore the name "Arrow- 
head," with a trade mark composed of the head of an old-style 
flint spear-point. Here was a distinguishing symbol which 
could easily be made a business asset. The advertiser, in this 
case, gave distinctive border outline to an entire campaign by 
surrounding pictures and text with the contour of the arrowhead. 
Sketchily drawn, it was no more than a line, but it supplied the 
advertising with a distinctive and exclusive physical identity. 
Pictorial borders need not necessarily be the product itself. 

A maker of out-board motors for small crafts Avithout power of 
their own devised w'hat may be looked upon as an invaluable 
trade mark mortise scheme. He placed illustrations of boats 
at the top positions in layouts and so shrewdly mortising out 
the lively wake of the water, that it permitted liberal space 
for text. 



What the makers 
of vour ru"S sav 

> JohnS'Manville 

» Improved . 


— saves coal 



Fig. 4G. 

Cppcr Left. — Tho ol)vi()us thing to do, whore an advertiser desires to form a 
mortise of the product itself. Always efTectivc, there is not a detail in the 
fomposition which wastes si)aco. Moreover, observe the heroic showing of 
tlie tire. 

Cppcr Right. — The product itself, an electric vacuum cleaner, is not employed 
as a border theme but a mortised rug of decorative design serves an equally 
busines.s-like purpose. 

Lower Left. — The product has all to do with heat pipes and tliis border, there- 
fore, is made to "pay its way" because it is the copy theme. 

Lower Ri(/hl. — \ successful mortise for text supplied by border made of the 
product. The advantage is two-fold, because it supplies a border which is 
wholly relevant and which automatically disposes of the problem of picturing 
the tire chains in detail. 



In order to decide the possibilities of the idea, as appHed to any 
one product, an analysis of its service and its character must be 
encouraged. An attractive container of coffee, for example, 
would not seem to hold forth many opportunities. To mortise 
out the front of the can would destroy the sole marks of identifica- 
tion. Therefore, it would appear impractical to apply this 
pictorial plan to the product. 

Nevertheless, an entire year's schedule was built around the 
border idea of pictorial mortises, and a distinctive newspaper 
and magazine campaign was evolved. The following basic 

Fig. 47. 

-A hotel restaurant features its exotic "Congo" Room and forms a 
decorative border of just the right atmosphere. 

layouts may be mentioned, as indicative of the elastic nature of 
the series: 

Top of coffee cup, with steam rising from same mortised for 

A large coffee cup and saucer, the face of the cup made to 
hold the message. 

Can tilted, and coffee beans spilling out in oval form to pro- 
vide mortise space. 

A coffee pot of the old style mortised. 

A modern percolator treated likewise. 

A large coffee bean, stippled on one side, and left open in the 
center, for text. 

Coffee plantation scene, its foreground detail mortised. 

Every composition suggested the subject, and while the actual 
product was not made into a pictorial frame, entirely relevant 
material served a satisfactory purpose. This rule may be 
applied to almost any article. 

The border of an advertisement is to be likened unto the pro- 
scenium arch of a theatre. Many varied scenes are staged in 



the same space, but the arch remains the same, as a rule. In 
some theatres, the proscenium decoration is of such an aggressive 
character that it actually detracts from the play and its scenic 

A well-known manager insists upon so disguising the base of 
this proscenium arch in his own theatre that it takes on the spirit 

The t^itiThe 

Handy jftf Handy 

Oil //VlCan 

{ f^ndy Oil CaJ l 






i fire-arms 
„ __> J magnetos:cohmutatoR^ 


Piiiy^''*' l-'SHT MACHINERY, ETC- 


DOUWi- " "" 

Fiu. 48. 

Left. — Bold, simple, with no attempt to deal in subtleties, this composition 
features the container as a mortise for text. 

Right. — Effective indeed, and business-like is this frank use of the frame as 
an attractive border for both text and allied illustration. Commercial it may be, 
but the advertiser does not seek a highly artistic composition. 

of the play which he is giving to his public. It is a drama of 
Japan, and special ornamentation is built around the arch which is 
Japanese in spirit; or, it is a play concerning fisher folk of the 
Maine coast, and nets are draped over it. The idea is primitively 



How long 
since your 
brakes were 




s li 



tjnl. In I 


other w 

av c»n 

Ihr . ... 



he hrakcs be detc 



. an ill 


on reveals brake 

wnm > 

o thin 

tlial i 



uselcv*-. 111 




and p 




these arc 







n scr 

lOUS ilifl. 


l.'M ^ 

.>ut I'r 




A siniti 



n excel- > 


rr r.Ji, ltritr,t; -tit 
, /i> „M ,:,r, ,t.. 






III ki-: Is 

«ilt. giving 
.,.lv a rcmm.l 
h.-ppy but of 

r of the giver 

tniporary worth. 

> thoughtfully xc 

liar it is jMrrniiincntly chci 

Such ^^\n be a S|,.M,,.,n. 

ual |,:-.u.-vsul'dra«n.^' , ^.--■. 

^••Ui ur I'tatinumguU uvcr ^ !(.)•» 
■ ■\pttnsivc baae metal. They arc 
IvaJuM in wntch chain fashion as 
uoll a^ in durnUiliiy. 

From his holitlay aswjrrmcnt 
\ ->iir jeweler win bt glad to show 
you sryk-s iin<i link ilc:»igits appro- 
priate to men of »]ttfcrent ages anil 
octHipiitiuns. Simmons Chain* arc 
re3bon.ili|y pntcd M to J115. 

Attlekiro MaMachuseir« 

Fi.i. 49. 

Left. — The question is answered by the product, which, skilfully arranged as a 
border, forms a question mark. 

Right. — Is it not admissible to say that forming the border and type mortise 
of the product, in this series, is far more sensible than if mere decorative themes, 
or familiar straight rules were used? It is possible to show the goods actual 
size, moreover. 


obvious. But this producer's arguments in favor of his phm are 
akin to the needs of advertising. He beheves that everything 
of the environment should be in sympathy with the play he is 
producing. There must be nothing to detract or to clash. 
He might even burn oriental incense during the run of the oriental 
play. It is all helpful atmosphere. 

Borders for advertisements are, therefore, proscenium arches. 
They can be plainly irrelevant, or they may be keyed to fit the 
mood of the little advertising play which is being produced for 
a large and discriminating audience. 

The subject, as a whole, in important, because often those 
advertising displays which are most significant, individual, 
impressive, and compelling, are based on the pictorial border, 
formed of the product or allied interests. A manufacturer of 
cigars places his text within the magic circle of a ring of smoke; 
a maker of soap individualizes his campaign by setting text within 
the colorful outline of bubbles or of frothy lather. His borders 
mean something and are interestingly decorative at the same 

It transpires, moreover, that a product is of such a peculiar 
shape that to emphasize this contour becomes of very practical 
selling assistance in an advertising campaign. The maker of a 
non-skid tire had a tire tread design which was unhke any other 
on the market. Realizing that here was a subject to which the 
average person paid little attention, a campaign was started 
which stressed the design in question, enlarging it and mortising 
it out to contain space for text and other illustrative material. 

A manufacturer of syrup mortised the outline of its can, a 
container of unusual style and form. Elsewhere he reproduced 
it in detail and placed all of his messages within the pictorial 
mortise. The objective was promptly realized. 

One of our most famous showmen once said that he would 
rather have a sign suspended from the back of an elephant than 
to print it page size in a newspaper. His logic was simple. 
He had a frame which was animate with interest. The hunuin 
eye, often jaded, requires some sort of stimulant. Advertising 
stories can be set off by any number of expeditious ideas. 

Ten years ago, a maker of country sausages, starting on a 
small scale in local territory, conceived the scheme of running 
two column newspaper advertisements, the brief copy of which 
was type set inside the outline of a young pig. And it was his 



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The Original Steel WindoWall 

Fig. 50. 

Upper Left. — The manufacturer specializes in fine woodwork for homes and 
this artistic border, made up of the very iiroduct which is advertised, therefore 
itself takes up the job of selling, as opposed to non-committal decorative schemes 
which, while pleasing enough, would not relate to the subject in hand. 

Upper Right. — Crude, perhaps, in the working out, but effective as employed 
for trade magazine advertising, the mortised product supplies an answer to the 
question: "what is the border to be"? _ 

Lower Left. — A characteristic feature of the product's wrapper is a distmctivc 
name-plate mortise made up of curved lines. By employing this as a frame 
for illustrations, the selling theme of the container is strongly emi)hasized. 

Lower Right. — Fenestra comes to life, as a product, in the matter-of-fact 
detailed border. 


argument that his sausage meat was made from tender, young 

For years he ran only the pen outHne of a pig, and today the 
firm is a national advertiser with national distribution. The 
border might have been line rules taken from the job lot supply 
of small- town makeup departments. But a border was instru- 
mental in success. A certain needed atmosphere was established. 

The example may be obvious, humble as to subject, but it is 
none the less significant. Pictorial borders, where they are 
born of the product, may easily talk an illustrative language of 
their own. 


Some advertising campaigns of necessity must feature not one 
article but many and must accomplish it artistically, with no 
sense of crowding, of scattered composition, nor of visual con- 
fusion. Indeed, this school of layout is legitimately popular 
and, although once extended as a sort of commercial pacifier 
to the advertiser himself, is now so skilfully negotiated that an 
idealist would find little room for complaint. 

Many lines of products call for show counter display, correct 
proportions retained, and relative features brought to the pub- 
lic's attention in group style. 

The former method was unattractive because it followed the 
art ideas of the catalog page. Articles were scattered over a 
page with slight attention to the niceties of balance and of 
composition. As a result, such advertisements were cold, and 
uninspired by any effort to introduce novelty of basic plan. 

Gradually the advertiser came to appreciate that many classes 
of objects could be placed in a given space and their presence 
explained by the idea which segregated and brought them 
together. A manufacturer of medicine requisities had, for 
years, followed the catalog scheme, and his advertising w'as 
unattractive in a physical sense. A quite obvious expedient 
at once corrected this weakness of illustrative display. A group- 
ing of eighteen or more articles on the white enamel shelves of 
a typical bathroom wall cabinet suggested a complete assortment 
under the head of medicine cabinet requisites. This was where 
they were to be found and this was where the average person 
would be apt to see them. With no waste of valuable space and 
in a natural frame formed by the outline of the cabinet, the entire 
line, labels readable and facing to the front, were segregated 
and yet held together by the reading matter where once their 
scattered composition confused the eye and made study arduous. 

Illustrations of this school can be prepared either by assem- 
bling them in an actual cabinet, photographing the aggregate 



display, and retouching it where detail is faded or lost, or by 
making separate camera, studies of each product and mounting 
them into an original drawing of the cabinet frame. The former 
is by far the easiest and most economical method. 

In similar fashion, an advertiser of sundry aluminum cooking 
utensils transformed mere catalog page showings of the lines into 
an attractive, even artistic illustration. Twelve featured utensils 
were posed in and on a modern kitchen stove at points where 
they would go into action. 

The trick, if trick it be, seems to be in finding a simple accus- 
tomed display rack where such articles are located under natural 
working conditions, the more likely and unaffected the situation 
the more satisfactory the composition. 

The question naturally arises as to whether, although this 
idea is available for a single advertisement, the same illustration 
could be run continuously throughout an entire campaign. 

Consider, again, the advertiser of medicines in package and 
])ottle form. Working on the foimdational idea of the group in 
the cabinet, the following possible arrangements suggest them- 

The line displayed on a drug store counter. 

Goods on shelves in drug store. 

Table in a hospital receiving room. 

On a laboratory work shelf. 

Placed, as if for study, on physician's desk. 

Grouped within outlines of prescription blank. 

It is always permissi])le to present different perspective views 
of the same composition. Thus, the cabinet could be shown 
full front view, from various not too acute angles, from above 
and ])elow, and under widely different lighting conditions. The 
cabinet on the wall might be illumined by a beam of light from 
an unseen electric source and this shaft of radiance would pro- 
vide another attention-compelling feature. 

There is really nothing unusual in such ideas for group com- 
position, and this, in a sense, increases their value. That they 
are so obvious doubtless accounts for their infrequent use. The 
ideas which are everj'where visualized around us are often the 
last ones to be set down on paper. There is a strong tendency 
to search for the exotic or the super-sensational. 



Fig. 51. 

Upper Left. — A somewhat cluttered composition, displaying the advertiser's 
line, but there is a certain attention-compelling value to the poster layout and 
the reproduction of cooked foods makes it intensely practical. One of the devel- 
opments leading to the new style of composition. A much better page designed 
for the same company visualized the line in a pantry. 

Upper Right. — The shelves in a housewife's cupboard made to represent the 
very natural and unaffected setting for the manufacturer's line 

Lower Left. — More formal and catalog-like composition, with no attempt at 
cleverness. Well-mannered and attractive. 

Lower Right. — A very extensive line shown in a compact and business-like 
setting. The scene is in a retail store, and the goods are arranged normally on a 
display stand supplied the dealer. Such photographs may be taken from the 
actual exhibit and with posed models. 


A campaign given over in large measure to the showing of a 
comprehensive Hne of canned goods was characterized l)y lay- 
outs and art work which had a marked tendency to cheapen 
the traditions of the concern. Crude borders held reproductions 
of the various cans. This was about as far as artists had ever 
gone in the direction of embellishing the series, and it was deemed 
advisable to picture not one or two, but many, of the leaders 
in the line. 

At last came a study of the housewife's pantry, with the shelves 
attractively covered with scalloped paper. She had neatly 
arranged the canned goods on these shelves, and, as in the case of 
the medicine cabinet, an almost perfect composition was achieved. 

Another advertiser of a grocery line simplified his problem by 
creating what was virtually turned into a secondary trade mark, 
which could be introduced in every display in a variety of sizes. 
A typical home market basket was filled with the products, each 
label turned outAvard. 

It is the scattering of a number of articles which dissipates 
interest and inartistic composition. Segregate them and bind 
them together pictorially, and the display profits vastly. 

A type of group picture wh'ch serves its purpose well, while 
delighting the dealer, is reproduced in this chapter. The line 
of IVIirro aluminum ware was photographed on the special store 
stand supplied by the manufacturer and under conditions which 
bring out the individual pieces. 

The presence of customer and shopkeeper in the same composi- 
tion supplies a touch of animation which is too often missing in 
such illustrations. The camera is the artist and specific attention 
is paid to lighting. 

Where it is practically impossible to arrive at pictorial settings 
of the character described and where products must be grouped 
rather formally, background accessories may relieve the com- 
mercial aspects of the composition. The advertising displays for 
Oneida Comnmnity silver plate demonstrate a very high stand- 
ard in this respect. Backgrounds are formed of photographed 
linen pieces, exquisite and intricate as to hand work, lace, inlaid 
design, and of pieces of silverware superimposed upon these 
beautiful surfaces, relieved by shadows and highlight reflections. 
It should be mentioned in passing that some of these extraordi- 
nary laces were photographed from rare examples at a New York 




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^-^■^Aluminum Cooking Utensils 

iVv ■*'iVC Oil Her Kan^c Oirisimas Morning 

Fig. 52. 

Upper Left. — Helter-skelter composition, making a pattern background of 
the many products and effective, none the less. 

Upper Right. — What could be more natural and decorative and unaffected 
than this line of medical accessories grouped within the art-frame of a typical 
bath-room medicine cabinet? The problem of picturing many different articles 
in a compact manner, is thus shrewdly achieved. 

Lower Left. — An ordinary kitchen range supplies the art setting for a series 
of kitchen utensils. The old idea was to sprinkle them over the page, catalog 

Lower Right. — One of a familiar series for Community Plates. The line of 
products is superimposed upon exquisite table linen and therefore makes an 
appropriate setting. 



The Oneida campaign, used recurrently, is not without the 
bounds of the general plan of procedure advocated here, because 
silverware belongs on just such showings of fine linen, and the 
rare patterns of the series will attract women who must recognize 
the marvelous workmanship. 

How are these effects obtained? One method is to fasten the 
fabric to a board, stretching it out evenly. If such fabrics, as in 
the case of the elaborate lace designs are of open-work, they are 
mounted on black cardboard which brings out their every detail. 






Dodeie Brothers 


Fig. 53. — A simple method of Krouping three members of a family of products. 
Rut the illustration.s are from skilfully retouched copy, tricked out with spark- 
ling highlifihts and contrasting tones. The delicate decorative background lends 
"class atmosphere." 

The silver is then arranged on the lace, held in place by putty 
or art gum, but unseen from the camera's angle. Special 
mortises, name plates, and captions can be painted in on the 
print. Retouching may be necessary^ particularly in the matter of 
shadows and highlights. It is also possible to make separate photo- 
graphs of the two planes of interest and to patch them together. 

Consider the problem of an advertiser of decorative linoleums, 
whose products depended largely on their attractive patterns, for 
reader response to campaigns. It has long been a common prac- 
tice simply to incorporate swatches, or squares of patterns, l)ut 
this was never wholly satisfactory because of their limited 
range of design, and to place them artistically in a composition 
is a nightmare to the layout artist. 

A remarkable photograph taken in a linoleum department 
formed the basis for an entire series of far more satisfactory 
illustrations. As in the majority of the instances mentioned, the 



setting was a thoroughly natural one and a battery of complete 
rolls of the product was featured, to say nothing of the linoleum 
rug spread on the floor for a prospective purchaser. A more 
complete showing of patterns was not the least of the advantages 
of this idea. Reproduced in colors, the photographic studies 
were strikingly successful. 

A similar case has to do with a campaign for fine linens. Job- 
lot compositions, with individual pieces clumsily arranged on a 


Fig. 54. 

Left. — Rather ruthless in the manner of grouping, but strong, compelling and 
original. The basic idea has been used for a year's campaign. 

Right. — An admirable grouping of a wide line of hair-brushes, made into a 
decorative composition, and given added charm through the medium of an 
original pen and ink rendering. 

gray background, gave way to human interest pictures, with the 
product introduced as a living part of the scenarios. The 
housewife might be just arranging her linen supply in a cabinet, 
with every drawer open and shelves exposed; or, she might be 
just removing them from the large basket of the week's laundry. 
The best show counter displays are those, of course, which permit 
of touches of life and of action closely associated with the products 

Where, as in the case of a manufacturer of many brushes used 
in homes, a salesman's sample case supplies an ideal setting, the 


campaign may adopt this one idea as a standard pictorial theme, 
perhaps featuring in hirger size one certain brush from the Hne. 

A great packing house has used a toy kitchen with its sundiy 
articles of furniture and of utensils in miniature. The toy is 
lithographed in full color, and the tiny packages are faithful 
reproductions of the larger container of the hne. This cutout 
is supplied to dealers, given to those who write in, for a nominal 
sum, and reproduced adequately in national advertising. 

It is seldom wise, in a composite drawing of many objects, 
to throw one or more out of size key. People are apt to get 
the wrong impression from such illustrations. It is well enough 
to enlarge one or two leaders so noticeably that the disparity is 

The modern catalogue displays a tendency to emploj^ these 
animated group studies, where from six to a dozen articles are 
included on a single page ; and some ingenious layouts have been 

A book containing the complete line of a china house formed the 
cutout cover of a period china closet, while the inside pages were 
photographic reproductions of a dozen and a half equally effec- 
tive closets, the china artistically arranged and visible through 
the glass doors. 

A somewhat similar idea made use of backgrounds of jewel 
caskets, in which the manufacturer displayed to admirable 
advantage, the 200 products put out by his companJ^ 

Display counter layouts have come into their own of recent 
years. They were doubtless first inspired not only by a desire 
to get away from the conventional page makeup of a past regime 
but also by the novel display racks and devices supplied dealere, 
where there is a line to place on exhibition. The National Biscuit 
Company, featuring a dozen or more kinds of products in as 
many attractive containers, invented a practical store self-seller, 
which, when reproduced in its natural colors, became a magazine 
illustration of far-reaching sales value. 


One of the most dangerous practices connected with modern 
advertising composition, layout, and art embellishment is to 
measure the value of space by how much can be crowded into 
it. That the uninitiated and sometimes those who should know 
better periodically misjudge in such matters may be credited to a 
quite natural consideration of the economics of space buying. 

An advertiser, using a number of newspapers the country over, 
decreases the space used in each advertisement of a series, a line 
or two, and the saving aggregates thousands of dollars. It is an 
actual fact that by cutting his copy and eliminating eighteen 
words, one national advertiser kept $43,000 in the till. Every 
fraction of an inch of space, in any medium, costs money, and 
when a sizable list of publications is on the list, these fractions 
loom large in the reckonings of the man who foots the bill. 

It is, therefore, excusable to cut sharp corners and to make the 
selection of sizes a matter of scientific and even psychological 
analysis. It has happened in any number of instances that a 
single-column campaign has achieved practically the identical 
results as the schedule which called for twice the amount of 
linage. That advertisers should zealously watch this problem 
is at once logical and wise practice. 

There is a point, however, beyond which it is dangerous to go 
in building the advertisement, with such economies in view. 
To pack the space to the brim with text and illustration is to 
proportionately decrease its interest, its power to command 
visual attention, and its artistic atmosphere. An advertisement 
must attract the eye and must combat competition in display. 
However worthy its contents and however perfect its illustration 
and typography, little avails if, physically, it fails to make a suit- 
able appearance. To make an advertisement stand out, in mixed 
company is as great a present-day obligation as its message. 

On a magazine page made up of four units, or more, or on the 
newspaper page, where competition in display is aggressive, the 




builder of the adveitiseiueiit is virtually compelled to take neigh- 
bors into consideration. 

And of all the known methods of securing adequate display 
value, liberal allotments of white space is conceded to be the 
most effective and the most unfailingly certain. White space, 
wisely distributed, is, in a sense, a protection for the type and 
picture. Such margins of white fight off surrounding competition. 
They provide essential contrast. 

On a newspaper page, in testing this out, create two two- 
column advertisements. In one, permit the material to run to 
the outer margins and fill all available space; in the other, con- 
dense picture and text and introduce a border of white around 

Fig. 55. — White was actually made an artistic asset in this remarkable series 
in which it played such an important part. By eliminating detail and allowing 
an unusual volume of "white space," the cars were gracefully emphasized. 

the message. Note with what absolute certainty the second dis- 
play attracts, then holds, the eye. 

It it not theory, it is science. For exactly the same reason it is 
easier to read typography which is openly spaced and indented. 
The advertisement which has open areas, or l)reathing spaces, of 
white paper is more inviting to the eye and commands visual 

White space is an automatic creator of contrast, and contrast 
is almost invaria])ly the secret of compelling display. On a 
newspaper page, there is apt to be extremes of condensation, 
compact masses of color, "tight" areas of type. When, in the 
midst of this congestion, there is placed a simpler composition, 
surrounded by empty space, the oasis formed is inviting to the eye. 


Paste a piece of white paper of even the most modest width on 
a printed page, and it will catch one's gaze instantly, although 
there may be accompanying elements of interest, such as headlines, 
half-tones, and heavy black illustrations. 


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Fig. 56. — One dominant word "set off" by a liberal expenditure of plain 
white paper. Surely, by way of contrast, such compositions will attract added 

There was a time when advertisers believed that power of 
display, in commercial designing was dependent upon how much 



[Lislerine used as a mouth wash quickly overcomes Halitosis (unpleasant breoth)\ 

Fig. 57. — White space becomes a quite material part of the plan of this cam- 
paign. With so much "cluttered" advertising, the simplicity of the composition 
is refreshing to the eye. 



black was employed; the more masses of black in a picture, the 
stronger it was sure to be. The fallacy is quickly uncovered 
when several densely set illustrations on the same page compete 
for attention. One black area nullifies the other. It is equally 
true, however, that if many advertisers adhered to the principles 
of white space as an attention compeller, the novelty would not 
be so pronounced. They do not, and it is doubtful if they ever 
will. In any event, the display protected and held aloof by white 

I k 



Fig. 58. — No backgi-ound, no unnecessary and complicating accessories. And 
white paper is made to pay its way. 

margins is certain to be more dominant, regardless of competition 
in its own sphere. 

White space must be looked upon as a practical business asset. 
White space must be considered as essential as the illustration 
itself or the type display. When one paper manufacturer issued 
a series of messages, his slogan was : " Paper is part of the picture." 
It might well have been paraphrased to suggest that liberal 
margins of white are also a part of the picture. That nothing is 
actually printed on these white areas does not mean that it 
represents waste. The advertiser is paying for a frame for his 
advertisement; he is buying a target, to the bull's-eye of which 
vision speeds with uncanny accuracy. White paper is restful 



to vision. The eye has no work to do here, and in an area 
of much advertising and of continuous battle for domiaating 
overwhelming display, these rest zones lure the average person's 


Fig. 59. — Throughout this campaign, strategic use of "plenty of wliitc space" 
made the displays "stand out" in newspapers, regardless of illustrative com- 
petition on every hand. 

Advertisers are led into error by the common custom of judg- 
ing an advertisement, in a physical sense, by its appearance in 
sketch form or as a proof, detached from the environment where 

Fig. 60. — Greatly reduced showing of a large-space newspaper advcrtisomont 
in which the judicious employment of areas of white space made it powerfully 

it must at last seek its audience and compete with many other 

A layout which provides for text and illustration monopolizing 
all of the space may present an entirely conunendable and satis- 


factory appearance. There is no competition It has no battle 
to fight. There is no confusion of attention. One advertise- 
ment is seen and one only. 

Place a presumably admirable piece of copy in mixed company 
and there is disillusionment. Elements which appeared to 
provide power are, in reality, weakening influences. The adver- 
tising display relieved and safeguarded by safety zone of white, 
most surely proves itself when it is in the midst of competition. 
Nothing can seriously detract from it because it has erected a 
barrier across which no confusion may leap. It is segregated by 
its frame of paper. It bids competitive display stand at a 

Considered in the light of attention-compelHng value, and as a 
means of making an advertisement stand out where display 
competition is unusually keen, the following fundamentals in 
the use of white space may be looked upon as academic. White 

1. Isolates type and illustration from surrounding matter. 

2. Furnishes the advertisement an immaculate, well-groomed 

3. Compels attention; scientifically, it attracts the eye. 

4. Provides individuahty of layout over the conventional 
average advertisement. 

5. Tends to make type more inviting and legible. 

6. Helps to emphasize the illustrations. 

7. Provides essential contrast. 

8. May erect natural hurdle, over which the other fellow is 
unable to climb. 

9. Gives tone, character, and aristocracy to composition. 

10. Makes everything centered in it more dominant and 

11. Provides the most sensible of all settings for the message. 
In its more important phases, therefore, aside from the artistic 

consideration, the use of open margins is, first, a means of attract- 
ing added attention to the advertisement. No display which 
employs it liberally and wisely need fear being overlooked. 
There are, of course, other points of commendation, and these 
are largely concerned with the illustrative feature. 

The greatest harm which can befall a picture is a confusion 
and congestion of unnecessary detail. Although the advertiser 
may not care to use wide margins around or up one side of an 







Interior Decorations 


Antique Furniture 

Objets d'Art 





FiQ. 61. — Examples of the expeditious use of white space. 


advertisement, the illustrative feature will profit by white space. 
In many instances, the picture without a background is vastly 
preferable to the one in which every inch of space is cluttered. 

Art work of all kinds is susceptible to the beneficial influence 
of such vivid contrast as white paper provides. The newspaper 
illustration is at its best when the artist eliminates non-essentials 
of detail. 

When it chances that one object, or figure, in a composite 
picture must be emphasized and limelighted, the areas of white 
come bravely to the rescue. 

An experiment of this kind has been tried by an advertiser 
of automobiles. Because pages in magazines were the rule, in 
at least one phase of the work, the element of competitive dis- 
play was not a factor. The advertiser "owned" the page in 
advance. Attention was not divided. Competition was a 
negligible quantity. But this advertiser was desirous of making 
the car the dominant note in all illustrations. 

These canvases portrayed cars and occupants, with a guarded 
amount of background. It was no mere case of silhouetting an 
automobile in an area of white paper. There were trees and 
hints of distant hills, houses, and landscape. In every composi- 
tion at least 50 per cent of the total space was given over to 
paper stock. There were no over-all tints and no wide areas of 
shading. As a consequence, attention was fastened upon the 
car which was, in every case, the center of the pictorial target. 

When the campaign calls for single columns, half pages, or 
quarter pages for magazine use, here again margins perform an 
unfailing service in the matter of providing that contrast which 
holds competition at a safe distance. And, after all, this is one 
of the secrets of the attention-compelling display; it does not 
mix with other advertising. The segregation is priceless. 

Several newspaper pages, representative of their class, are 
reproduced in this chapter, in greatly reduced form. They form 
strikingly uncontrovertible evidence of the practical asset of 
white space. They prove that the eye will seek the open areas 
and the advertisements which are noted for their breathing space. 
In natural size, the same truth is intensified. 

No advertiser need fear that his display will be lost or smoth- 
ered by other advertising and other distractions, if he will study 
the possibilities of marginal doctrine. And this is just as true 
of the very small advertisement as it is of the larger campaigns. 


A famous national advertiser pays a visualizer for his knowledge 
of what to leave out. 

Why is it that certain editorial forms of makeup in straight 
typography win the tribute of concentrated attention from the 
reader? The eye pounces on them with a sense of obvious 
relief. There is a desire to read, even before the character of 
the message is sensed. Spacing, marginal work, and areas of 
white are a relief from the everlasting condensation of the general 
run of type setup. 

Nothing is gained by cutting down the amount of copy, and 
then spreading it out to fill a given space. Nothing is gained 
by showing illustrations in bold closeups and then permitting 
them to run from side to side and top to bottom of the layout. 

The volume of white space around and about them is the 
deciding factor in their power to arrest attention under any and 
all circumstances. Advertisers will do well to look upon white 
paper as one of the most valuable and constructive forces in 
modern display. 


One of the most common errors in any consideration of the 
carrying power and attention-compelling value of a commercial 
illustration is to assume that unusually liberal areas of solid black, 
either in a line drawing or in a wash original means invinci]>ility 
of display. This belief is particularly prevalent among those 
who prepare advertising for newspapers, trade journals, and farm 
magazines. Heavy masses of black are injected with little or 
no consideration as to the fitness of things. It is used because it 
would appear to dominate over surrounding displays. In a 
sometimes selfish desire to "kill off" the competitors' advertising, 
these campaigns smash their way, rough shod, through the press. 

This situation reached a state where many of the more exacting 
newspapers set up office rules which promptly prohibited solid 
blacks, save when there was a legitimate reason for them. If 
the thing portrayed is black, then the advertiser may employ it; 
but if masses of black are introduced for no better reason than to 
dominate ruthlessly, such areas are officially edited in the news- 
paper office by a department specializing in it, or the advertiser 
may after a warning, handle the problem himself. 

From the newspaper publisher's point of view, the objection to 
overly dominant blacks is fundamentally sound. Spotted, 
broken pages, considered in the aggregate, are displeasing to the 
reader. They disturb any restful contemplation either of news or 
of advertising. They are brutally distracting. Nor does this 
mean that the eye is pleasingly lured to them. They are not, 
of necessity, attractive. The modern well-conducted newspaper 
strives for pages which, while strewn with advertising, are never- 
theless a composite, closely knit mass, with no one thing standing 
out to a considerable degree. 

Ethically, the newspaper does not look with favor upon any 
advertisement which palpably elbows other advertising off the 
page and out of the vision. Campaigns should share and share 
alike. If they dominate at all, they must do it by virtue of 




Fia. 62. — Black, boldly dominant, made to serve a useful purpose in emphasiz- 
ing a white product. 

FiQ. 03. — Another example of the 
strategic use of black. 

l''io. 01. 

-The backgruuiid i)n)\i(lcs 



skill in composition, artistic or illustrative quality, or power of 
text and headlines. 

A picture of a black automobile can be shown exactly as it is; 
a picture of a building may not have heavy black shadows. The 
distinction is obvious. Masses of black are in good taste when 
they are an inherent part of the character and appearance of 
the product itself. Even black lettering is stippled and made 
lighter in tone. 

The process of bringing illustrations, violating newspaper rules, 
to an acceptable appearance is mechanical. There are numerous 

Fig. 65.^ — Three skilful adaptions of black, featured, as a campaign trade-mark 
touch of individuality. It is unfair to judge them from these greatly reduced 
engravings. The series was considered revolutionary. 

engraving methods of arriving at it and in the majority of cases, 
the actual plates are "treated." Advertisers who are insistent 
upon black illustrations for newspaper use might study their 
schedules in advance and make copy conform with the rulings 
accepted by other successful advertisers. 

There are no such restrictions in the matter of standard 
magazine advertising. The amount of black used is entirely 
discretionary with the advertiser. Satisfactory printed results 
are certain, which is not always the case with reproductions on 
cheap paper stock. The use of large areas of black becomes an 
artistic study. It is done with wisdom and with restraint. 
Black may become something akin to a mark of advertising 
identification for a campaign. 

An instance of this can be cited : The firm of Black, Starr and 
Frost, jewelers, after a careful investigation of the advertising 


in such journals as the firm was compelled to use in making up a 
scientific schedule, found that while there were numerous cam- 
paigns of photographs, of original wash drawings, reproduced in 
haK-tone, and of pen-and-ink, dry-brush, and other art mediums, 
there were practically no campaigns using heavy black to such a 
liberal extent that the public might grasp it as individuality in a 

Pages were originated with black as the one dominant note. 
The area of black constituted no less than 80 per cent of the 
display. Black, with poster combinations, was actually trans- 
formed into an advertising asset. A string of precious pearls 
was superimposed against a simple square block of ebony, with 
no accessories. Two pieces of silver, in half-tone, were likewise 
featured on a single page. A startling composition was that of 
one blue diamond lying on a block of black. 

This was not done, however, to dominate, to detract from other 
advertising. It was the soul of the campaign. It was the 
note which individualized it. Diamonds, silverware, pearls, 
whatever the product, stood out as never before in any previous 
series. The areas of black were valid because they constituted a 
display counter for the products advertised. The effect was 
much as if any one of these articles had been placed upon a large 
piece of costly black velvet. 

The series was not permitted to grow monotonous. If several 
articles must be shown in a single page, then they were artisti- 
cally arranged, as if they were lying upon an ebony tray, but the 
characteristic effect was not weakened. The most unimaginative 
person could quickly distinguish that this was one of a scries of 
advertisements. Here was an instance, then, of black used 
advisedly to individualize a campaign and to provide contrast 
for the products. 

A manufacturer of combs, alert to the knowledge that his 
product was not one unusual from a pictorial standpoint, sought 
a means of making it so. The combs were black. In the illus- 
trations employed by the company, white, grey, and solid black 
were used. Flat masses of gray background, relieved by simple 
delicate motifs of white, held representatives of the combs and 
these were practically in black silhouette, with detail all but 

The product itself, normally black and intensified in the art 
treatment, was given bull's-eye position through the wise use of 



-And 3-m-One 


black and was provided with contrast by the gray tone and the 
intermittent whites. 

In magazine work, illustrations in line and in graduating shades 
of half-tone are often made decorative, compelling, and poster- 
like through the use of solid black backgrounds. In the illustrat- 
ing of a campaign for refrigerators, an advertiser employed these 
black backgrounds because the ice box was of white enamel, and 
the black, aside from its other virtues in the series, intensified the 
spotless finish of the product. 

Black is valuable in an illustration, only when it is a means to 
an end. Too much black defeats its own purpose. An illustra- 
tion overburdened with large areas of black 
is a vexation to the eye and tiresome to 
vision. It becomes somber, depressing, and 
heavy. For black, after all, is not cheerful; 
contrast gives it its true value. 

An outKne drawing in pen and ink can be 
made and a single cautious area of solid black 
introduced where it has a right to be ; it will 
seem strangely interpretative. Use several 
similar areas and the value of any one 
decreases in rapid proportion. 

Too much cannot be said on the subject of 
the relation of black with contrasts. Black 
may easily nullify the power of black, if there 
is too much of it and there are too many 
points of distribution. 

The silhouette has attained its popularity 
solely on the basis of contrast, plus individ- 
uality of technique, but the more success- 
ful silhouettes are those which distribute 
values with scientific discrimination. Place 
a single figure, for example, in black 
against a white background, and it is startling and compelling. 
Muddle it up with background blacks, in addition to the main 
figures being in black, and the results are not satisfactory. 
The silhouette in black has a fascination, particularly when 
figures are thus represented. 

Imagination fills in the missing detail. Show only the profile 
■of a face in black silhouette and the observer's own mind begins 
instantly to imagine the details. Such silhouettes, however, 

Fig. 66. — In its 
half page size, the 
bhicks in this design 
served an interesting 
purpose, for, despite 
the strength of these 
areas, they only 
served to elaborate 
the detailed package. 



retain strong points of individuality. It is possible, as a conse- 
quence, to retain an almost photographic likeness of the 
individual. This fact is familiar to all. 

The use of solid black in any illustration, regardless of its sub- 
ject or its art medium, is strong or weak, in proportion to the 
discretion used in surrounding material. The placing of con- 
trasting notes in correct juxtaposition is one of the secrets of 
this. If there is a considerable area of black, it should be 
quickly relieved by a corresponding area of white or of some light 
tone value. 

'/ itmtijtt ^rtS Urn bt aiuimd b} lit (naljn jnnliT. 

iwanrr jm hifrnj; umi. It^uiti *rr rtal ttftSi »f ^tl, vhUb 

Cijmng Ji.-trjin • rfKh » />/«//■ ^f»fJ itt ^ul plwnfi ilmi « ii^nl 

mm, iummdi. tmppbnti ««</ mtt^Ui by tbt ftrfte maiit «/ «Tt and ^ttlily. 

Fig. 67.- — Large areas of solid black made to serve a serialized purpose through- 
out a progressive campaign. Line or wash objects superimposed against such 
areas, boldly and without fear. Yet there is nothing "funereal" about the 
illustrations as seen in their page size. 

Too nmch black, in large areas, will cheapen an illustration if 
precautions are not taken. This applies more specifically to 
campaigns in magazines, where an aristocracy of atmosphere is 

That it can be made to work sympathetically with class com- 
positions, however, is evidenced by the wholly artistic results 
attained by the Black, Starr and Frost campaign. Several of 
these fine advertisements are reproduced here and justify study. 
It would appear impossible to splash a magazine page with a solid 
black and at the same time preserve dignity, artistic merit, and 



an atmosphere which must be associated with products of this 

Specific attention is called to the display in which a pearl 
necklace is superimposed against a black panel. 

The decorative elements, together with perfect composition 
in this case, hold the page aloof from such cheapening influences 
of solid black as have been mentioned. By placing the string 


Dry Batterie^/ 

Fig. G8. — Various uses of generous amounts of black in order to give striking 
contrast where it is most essential. 

directly in the center of the black area and by looping the pearls 
with rigorous, mathematical precision, the eye does not rebel at 
the volume of this black. The background becomes part of a 
design. And the tiny decorative motif at the bottom supphes an 
essential relief. With equal skill and understanding, the name 
plate display and two blocks of typography seem to fall into per- 
fectly alloted spaces. They also serve to take some of the harsh- 
ness from the simplicity of the background. 


It is interesting to find that combinations of these same ele- 
ments, in the main, are apparently without end. This campaign, 
long continued, did not find it necessary to repeat a composi- 
tion. The same typographical makeup was not employed twice, 
and always those substantial squares of solid black provided 
illustrative and decorative character which individualized the 

The use of areas of black is a responsibility. In the hands of 
the novice, it may do irreparable damage to any campaign. It 
may dominate to such an extent that the message in tj'pe becomes 
weak and inconsequential, or it may defeat the true purpose of 
the illustration as a whole. 

An artist who has specialized in this field has his own effective 
method of knowing how much black to use and where to place it. 
He makes his layouts in outline, has photographic prmts made 
the same size, and experiments with them until the best possible 
combination is secured. 


The abundant possibilities of perspective are by no means as 
fully understood or applied as they deserve to be. Perspective 
brings fresh viewpoints to compositions. It is such a plastic 
science and so adaptable that the most prosaic subject can be 
given new interpretation by even casual application of its rules. 

In a rudimentary way, many persons appreciate that perspec- 
tive includes elements of vision. To stand on the observation 
car platform of a moving train and to see the tracks converg- 
ing on the far horizon is a simple visualization of perspective. 
The amateur who places his camera too near the base of a tall 
building and tilts the camera upward, to include the entire 
structure, discovers to his dismay that perspective has its pitfalls. 
Every snap shot enthusiast is familiar with the grotesqueries of 
unstudied perspective in the abnormal and distorted results 
which follow. The dictionary defines perspective as the "art or 
the science of representing, on a plane or on a curved surface, 
natural objects as they actually appear to the eye." 

There are several technical branches of perspective, all of 
which are essential to a complete mastery of art, but the present 
treatise does not call for detailed analysis. What concerns 
the student is the application of the simpler forms to advertising 
art. It is a study in itself, heavily charged with diagrammatic 
analysis, although many artists seem to be born with a con- 
sciousness of its most subtle ramifications. Results are achieved 
without recourse to "vanishing points" and ruled lines. It will 
be well, nevertheless, to understand that the "station point" 
represents the individual's place and position, as he focuses his 

Because there is such a thing as a universal station point, 
the tendency is in the direction of sameness. As things are seen 
in everyday hfe, under perfectly normal conditions, so are they 
put on the advertising canvas. This is the eye range and the 
station of the greatest number of individuals. Advertising, 




for Indiana 


Fia. 09. — (Seo opposite page for explanation). 


Explanation of Illustrations (Fig. 69) 

lu the "E for Indiana" illustration, perspective permits a broad \'ista of 
streets, many little figures and a "look-down" thoroughness of detail which 
would be impossible were the usual street-level perspective to be employed. 

A very novel use of photographic perspective. The plan was used by the 
Advertiser in catalog work, in mailing folders and in standard magazine copy. 
Figures and products are posed, and the camera pointed downward on the 
scene from a balcony above. As it was advisable to show the INSIDE of the 
washing machines, when tops were removed, many of these perspective illus- 
trations were, therefore, unusually serviceable. 

Unique perspective for an illustration, by means of which the tires are shown 
unconventionally, strikingly and are forced into immediate eye-range. 

The product advertised in this airplane view was roofing, and by looking 
DOWN on his scene, the Advertiser brings out his story in admirable detail, 
to say nothing of the asset of originality of composition. Such pictures as this 
are very certain to command attention. 

Vacuum cleaner illustration. It has been characteristic of many campaigns, 
the products of which are difficult to portray in pictorial form, to "look down" 
on various scenes, thus elaborating detail. Aside from the fact that the picture 
becomes commercially valuable, as telling a story, the compositions are strik- 
ingly different from the "average run." 

Factory scene. Normal \'iews are those which are most often observed from 
the street level, from floor levels. But where buildings are to be illustrated, in 
groups, and where one structure is behind another, covering acres of ground, 
it is manifestly impossible to secure the panoramic effect save by looking down 
from above as in the accompanying characteristic drawing — an original, not a 
photograph. In a case of this kind, the camera is apt to distort. 

By looking down on the desk, as well as other manufactured pieces, the adver- 
tiser allows you to see the more important details and features. In designing 
this campaign, the basic thought was: "Where people USE a desk is the part 
which looms largest in their eyes, therefore it was our desire to not only create a 
novel style of illustration but to show the roominess of the product." 

Photographic example of the wide horizons which are made possible, by 
means of "Bird's-eye" views as the camera is placed above the scene or the 
object. When artists are called upon to produce original illustrations of such 
panoramas, the camera may supply supplementary working data. 

Rutty road. An entire series of accumulative interest and advertising value, 
was devised by this advertiser, to exploit shock absorbers, depending for its 
originality, its unusual characteristics, upon the elements of applied perspective. 
The viewpoint of the artist and of the reader, is that of the person at the wheel 
of the car, skilfully portrayed. The series brought out the hazard of rough 


however, quite properly seeks the unconventional. It is urged 
to do so by virtue of the ever-increasing volume of similar cam- 
paigns. It is just as valuable for an advertiser to conceive a 
fresh viewpoint, pictorially, as to seek untrammeled ideas and 

And it is here that perspective comes to the rescue. It takes 
the most prosaic object or idea and suppUes innovation both of 
atmosphere and of technical details. And because the pubHc 
does not commonly see things from this viewpoint, it is more 
than ordinarily interested; its imagination is stimulated. 

The average magazine, or newspaper, reader would discover 
nothing startling in the skilful painting of an automobile, if 
the artist should select as his perspective the visual street 
range commonly used. If, as was actually done, a campaign 
of illustrations was prepared, looking down upon cars and their 
environment, attention would be intrigued. 

To present pictures of people and of things as they are not com- 
monly seen is a proved advertising asset, provided attention- 
compelling value is of primary importance. Sometimes, an 
advertiser sets out to do this because he wishes to present an 
illustrative novelty, well off the beaten path. The far more 
legitimate use of perspective is related to an advertising need 
and a selling requisite. The product difficult to show is handled 
satisfactorily when perspective is varied. In other words, there 
is a commercial value to the idea. 

It is possible more clearly to demonstrate this by referring 
to a number of conspicuously successful and workman-like 
examples. Studied perspective makes the illustration a better 
picture for the purpose. It assists chiefly in selhng goods and in 
clarifying some special talking point, aside from its novelty 
and its appeal to the imagination. 

The manufacturer of an appliance which is used in practically 
all of the departments of any large business had to tell the story 
of an intercommunicating system, whereby a dozen or more 
offices were benefited and served by the work performed. To 
picture one office, or one desk, would not be visualizing the story. 
Nor would a view of large offices, as customarily seen from the 
main entrance, fill this order. Offices were separated by parti- 
tions. No normal vista or photographic panorama could be 
made to cover the ground. An artist, working in skeletonized 
pen outline, dispensed with partitions and, from a station point 



above, drew his picture of the complete floor space of a luodcrn 
business, inckuling workers at their desks. At a glance the eye 
took in this diagrammatic illustration and its message. Normal 
perspoctivc would not have permitted a picture of this character. 

Ives Toys 





Fi(i. 70.--Persijective permits the showing of the entire niiniudire 
railway system. 

In practically all of the instances here cited, the perspective 
idea involved belongs to the "bird's-eye-view" classification, 
and this is by far the most popular and serviceable. It is as if 
the artist had drawn his picture from some position above the 
scene selected. He looks down upon it. The result is invariably 
a canvas which wins unusual attention, while delivering a pre- 
cious selling message. 



Remember this: There is nc subHinite 
for Ditto. No other known form of 
"short run"dupIication rivals its speed, its 
accuracy, its economy. Wherever there 
are orders or invoices to be reproduced, 
wherever there are requisitions, ac- 
counting forms and the like to be 
exa<flly copied— there Ditto will serve 
and save. Invite him, and the Ditto 
Man near you will be glad to show yew 
how— or, send for the Ditto Book 
and get the £iory complete. 

Ditto, Incorporated 

3nl Floor. S30 South Dearborn Sim 



rAut k^tftitt •" rMtMf 


^ ^ .* 

Fig. 71. — By the aid of perspective, an advertiser presents an illustration of a 
look-down view of an entire business-office floor — which would be impossible 
otherwise. The perspective thought was utilized throughout a connected series. 



A firm advertising metal roofings at first could hit upon no 
pictorial scheme of an original character other than to secure 
photographs of buildings and installations exactly as had been 
done for years. Such illustrations would not feature the roofs. 
The side elevations were forced extravagantly upon the vision. 
And there was an added reason why 
the old-style idea did not look en- 
couraging; a part of the argument 
was to tell about certain types of 
roofs, structurally, such as, for ex- 
ample, the "standing seam." 

An artist made an obvious sug- 
gestion. "If you wish to show roofs," 
he declared, "why not look down on 
them from above. A bird's-eye per- 
spective is what you require. In 
this way, we feature the roofs, and 
dispense with almost all other non- 
essential detail." 

A series was made after this fashion 
and it was instantaneously successful. 
By placing one large building in the 
foreground and by including just 
enough surrounding scenic investure 
and figure animation, the severity of 
the subject was relieved. It may be 
interesting to note that the artist 
made technical notes from airplanes 
and skyscrapers. 

The picturization of large factories, 
industrial plants of all kinds, and views fig. 72.— Perspective opens 

of institutions made up of countless up more liberal \istas for the 

11 •, 1,1 , r ,1 i- advertising illustrator. In this, 

small units would be out of the question ^ne of a remarkable series. 

were it not for the possibilities of per- action is magnified and many 
, • 1 • 11 •j.t. a little individual zones of inter- 

spective drawmg, whereby, with floor ^3^ ^^^ be introduced. 
plans and separate photographs, the 

artist pictures his complex scene as from above. Ordinary cameras 
distort such panoramas. A picture made from the street would 
include no more than the buildings in the immediate foreground. 

In the production of such illustrations, the modern airplane 
camera is of invaluable aid. Although the pictures taken can 



seldom be used, they supply the architectural artist and pano- 
ramic expert with the material he needs. The production of 
illustrations of this type is a distinct specialization, and it is 
here that the rules and the mechanics of perspective are put int9 
intensely scientific practice. Nothing is taken for granted and 
the eye is not trust otl. 

Fig. 73. — Perspective allows the advertiser to show liis product when said 
product is in a hard-to-see place or position, as in this very striking example. 
The heater happens to be under the feet of the occupant of the automobile and no 
average, normal \'iewpoint would bring it out clcarlj\ The artist, however, 
looks from above and down, over the shoulder of his figure, and immediately the 
advertised product becomes dominant in the comjiosition. Moreover, it means an 
unconventional posing of the human interest units. 

For a number of years, advertisers of carpets and rugs were a 
little disturbed and perplexed because illustration failed to ade- 
quately present the product. Sharp perspective displayed more 



of everything in the room than the floor coverings. It has not 
been until recent years that resourceful artists put the look-down 
view to work, thereby visualizing the product as never before and 
making it possible to show pattern details. Even human figures 
are introduced and the most unusual views of them are obtained. 

Bird's J^cponsct Ru^s 


Fig. 74. — A most ingenious application of the rules of perspective. Looking 
down upon the product ... a rug . . . the artist not only introduces pat- 
tern detail, which would be otherwise out of the question, but visualizes figures in 
a refreshingly attractive manner. To "look across" at a rug, as if standing on 
the floor level, would mean distortion. 

which automatically adds another virtue to the idea, because 
novelty is an essential adjunct to advertising art. It has been 
often said by experts that there are few things more difficult to 


draw than a heavily patterned rug, or carpet, in sharp perspective. 
The modern method of simphfying the task is to spread the floor 
covering out in a large room and to photograph it in the exact 
perspective required. 

This photograph may be mounted, and figures and accessories 
painted on its surface, the print serving as an accurate guide for 
colorist, for retoucher, or for the artist who may employ the 
photograph as a technically correct guide from which to paint 
or draw. 

The value of perspective, in a commercial sense, as helping to 
elaborate a sometimes hidden or clumsily positioned product, is 
to be observed in a remarkable series for a manufacturer of auto- 
mobile heating devices. The mechanical part which it was desir- 
able to call to the attention of the prospect was the metal grill 
work plate set into the floor of the car. Because closed cars were, 
of course, the rule, the problem of properly illustrating this 
feature may be well understood. The task was made still more 
involved by the necessity of introducing figures which, in every 
case, were to reflect the comfort of the heating system. By 
looking over the shoulder of an occupant and down to the floor 
of the limousine, the artist overcame every supposed obstacle. 
The pictures were always striking and original in composition. 

Photographs and original drawings of a certain electric washing 
machine proved of passive advertising value, because the exterior 
of the device counted for less than the inside mechanism. But 
to picture sectional views and strip off the outer frame meant to 
run the risk of presenting illustrations which were mechanical 
and complex and therefore not particularly interesting to women. 
Accordingly, several models were photographed from above, 
their tops put back. Enough of the exterior features of the 
washer remained in the picture to identify the machine, and the 
mechanism, which was novel, was shown admirably. 

An advertiser's story for an entire campaign had to do with 
multitudes of people, hurrying along crowded routes of traffic. 
Four out of five of these people suffered from a common ailment. 
A perspective from the angle of the soaring bird helped to make 
this advertisement differ from the usual study. 

A series of ingenious illustrations for another advertiser 
selected as their basic theme vistas of the street life of various 
communities. As many as two or three hundred persons and 
numerous duildings, animals, and motor cars had to be included. 


They were cross-sections from city life. That the artist 
employed as his station point the view which might be had from 
the window of a four-story building allowed him to picture 
objects in full detail and with no overlapping of subjects. 

The best perspective studies are the result of analysis. The 
artist does his best to see the object or the scene in the same way 
and under the same conditions which are to govern the reader's 
station point. This is more particularly true of technical draw- 
ings. In another generation, perhaps, when the airplane becomes 
demonstrably practical for the masses, the look-down view 
may lose its present novelty and attraction. 

Some years ago, a genius drew a series of pictures which were 
worm's-eye views; that is, the artist looked up from underneath 
at the subject. Advertisers will go to any extreme to bring out 
their specific talking points. One maker of cars wished to feature 
parts of the chassis, and the worm's-eye illustration was exactly 
what the situation demanded. To see a thing and to picture it 
as it is not customarily seen by the majority of persons has 
brought out the unconventional advertising illustration. 


The illustration of the groups of tiny men tying the "giant" 
Gulliver to the ground in " Gulliver's Travels" serves as a striking 
example of what vivid contrast will accomplish, pictorially, when 
two opposing elements are placed side by side. Similarly, again, 
when Swift reversed the idea and the insignificant Gulliver was 
held in the palm of a great Brobdingnag hand, imagination was 
stimulated. Small objects may be given heroic proportions and 
added advertising value or they maybe fitted into unique environ- 
ment by the same interesting process. 

The unusual in illustration is invariably sure of its following. 
Pictures which present the striking, the unaccustomed, the 
daringly original, are attractive to everyone. They are fairy 
stories told to an audience wiUing to make the story come true. 

Advertisers frequently feel the need of concentrating solely 
upon their products. They desire the public to think in terms of 
a certain package, a machine, a cake of soap, or a kitchen cabinet. 
Where the thing advertised is new, its form must be quickly 
impressed upon public consciousness in a business-like manner. 

One of the obligations of advertising, of course, is to familiarize 
the consumer with the physical attributes of the article it is 
hoped he will buy. He should not only recognize it inmiediately, 
when he sees it on display, but should also look for it. All 
of this has to do with the acknowledged psychology of purchasing- 
hour contact, and is less a theory than it is thought to be. 

The type of advertiser whose need for these odd pictorial 
approaches is peculiarly valid is one whose product is small and 
therefore difficult of illustration where accessories are employcil. 
If the product happens to be a spark plug for an automobile and 
the illustration incorporates the showing of the entire car, plus 
figures, it is obvious that the actual reproduction of the product, 
if normally introduced, will be insignificant. Here is where the 
Gulliver-in-Lilliput idea makes a likely case for itself. 



An entire series of illustrations for an automobile battery feat- 
ured the product in giant size, as compared with the cars. The 
Battery became the Gulliver of the campaign, and the automo- 
biles surrounding it, were tiny Lilliputians. A battery is a thing 
hidden from sight. It is not seen when the machine is viewed in 
action. The advertiser is therefore faced with a double handicap; 
not only is the object he wishes to show small, by comparison 
with its native accessories, but it is also beneath the visual surface. 

Fig. 75. — A storage battery is a product which, when performing its service, is 
hidden from sight. A mere reproduction of it, unembellished, would not provide 
impressive illustrative material. By giving it heroic proportions, however, and 
surrounding it with tiny cars, it is made to loom large in the consciousness of 
the public. The E.xide series in which this plan was adhered to throughout, 
was spectacularly successful. 

What are his opportunities? To visualize a faithful still life 
of the battery would not constitute a spectacular or unusual type 
of illustration. Indeed, it would be very commonplace. And, 
all the while, able competitors are to be considered. There is a 
likelihood of duplication of layout. To rise above the common- 
place, each advertiser must plot out an illustrative scheme of his 
own. There is something of the orator and of the showman in 


every advertiser, and justly so. He must make his product 

In the case of the advertiser mentioned, the problem was over- 
come by deliberately emplo^dng the Gulliver idea. Immense 
battery boxes were shown, rising from miniature scenic investure 
and toy cars. If cars are contrasted to a battery visualized as 
higher than a skyscraper, it is certain than an illustration will be 
conceived which must attract far more than ordinary attention. 
The product gains secure dominaiice by a feat of contrast. 
If a battery a quarter of a mile high stood on the public square, 
passers-by would most assuredly pay it a tribute of interested 

There has always persisted a mystery in connection with illus- 
trations of this character, much as if there was a " catch" in it or 
a species of "black art " of the studio. The mystery of its accom- 
plishment deepens where the picture is photographic throughout. 
The camera does not lie, according to popular fancy; therefore, 
if it is a photograph, it must be largely true. 

But the mechanics of production are simple enough. It may 
mean no more than the skilful dovetailing of two prints. The 
result, in the case of the automobile battery, may be achieved by 
taking a photograph of a street scene and fitting into and over it 
an enlargement of the product. It is necessary to be sure that 
the perspectives match and are wholly consistent. They must 
both be on the same visual planes. In fact, the perspective must 
be perfect when building a print or the illusion is destroyed. It 
is a not uncommon practice to make a pencil sketch of the 
illustration and to use it as the floor plan for the making of the 
separate photographs. A man, as tall as the highest building, 
can be made to walk along a city street, his head above the roof 
tops, and, to all intents and purposes, it will carry the conviction 
of some amazingly authentic camera study. Retouching may be 
necessary, of course, such as the silhouetting of the superimposed 
print, the shaving down of the abrupt edges, and the painting 
out of all places which might show up in reproduction. Occasion- 
ally, shadows are of practical assistance. The secondary techni- 
cal requirement in combining prints is that the lighting cannot 
have two sharply defined sources but must seem to come from one 

The same general rule as to photographically prepared illus- 
trations of this sort applies to all subjects, animate or inanimate. 


The foundational, or background, print is mounted and the 
second subject placed over it in an advantageous position. 

Giving the product vast proportions is a popular idea, and 
probably always will be, because of its remarkable possibilities. 
Unimportant and insignificant objects may be given exalted 
strength. Detail can be emphasized. Things which are not, 
in their own right, dramatic, can be given dramatic power. 

By the mere pictorial expedient of placing the small figure of a 
golfer, in action, in direct juxtaposition to a large showing of the 
face of a club, an advertiser of such products creates an illustra- 
tion which is in no sense commonplace and which serves several 
significant advertising purposes. The following elements of 
selling interest surround the article advertised in this way: 

1. Possibilities of manufacturing detail, featured. 

2. Creating of a spectacular type of illustration. 

3. Combining of human interest with still life along new and 
original lines. 

4. A picture which automatically creates its own interested 

Contrast in the techniques employed often assists in these pic- 
torial illusions. It is not uncommon, where an advertiser 
desires to give added importance to his product, to render it in 
realistic style, while miniature accessories are in an entirely 
different mood. 

Use will here be made by way of illustration of a series which 
was popular in its day and which ran continuously for several 
advertising seasons. The methods employed will be every bit 
as workman-like a century from now. It is a scheme which time 
may not wither. 

In this case, a maker of hinges felt that former showings of 
his goods were far short of stimulating. The public in general 
could not be expected to grow enthusiastic over a photograph or 
original wash drawing of a door hinge. Certainly it lacked any- 
thing approximating the dramatic Besides, when a hinge was 
shown on a door, in relatively normal proportion, it could scarcely 
be seen. 

A series of colorful studies of hinges was made; and super- 
imposed across the lower portions of them were line or pencil 
drawings of various models of houses. The hinges loomed in 
gigantic proportions above the roofs of these tiny dwellings. As 
a consequence, hinges began to take on astonishing significance. 



It was rightly argued by the advertiser that hinges arc of far 
greater importance than most people imagine. 

Here, however, combination art techniques were of practical 
assistance. When placed side by side, the sketchy, outline pencil 
and pen drawings of the houses provided rugged contrast for the 
half-tone of the hinges. One relieved the other; one set off the 
other. There was no confusion and no melting of one object 
into its neighbor. Where such campaigns are planned, combina- 
tion plates are advisable, that is, part line and part half-tone. 
This need not handicap the artist to any extent. The engraver 
knows how to secure technical perfection. 

Fig. 7G. — Illustrating a pair of hinges on a door, under normal conditions, 
would scarcely provide the advertiser with adequate material. The moment 
contrast is supplied however, and this contrast automatically making a small 
product seem giant-sized, the result is a serial theme which may lay strong claim 
to accumulative power. 

Wearied of the monotony of illustrations, advertisers periodi- 
cally break away from convention and go on a Gulliver tour, pic- 
torially. They can be sure of one point at least; the product will 
not be submerged. It will claim the center of the stage. It 
will loom large on the horizon of the vision and of the mind. A 
cereal manufacturer with an unpretentious package placed a 
mountain-high container in the midst of a wheat field, 10 miles 
across, and at once the unassuming product is made to seem of 
aggressive visual importance. Such illustrations, contrary to 
popular opinion arc no more difficult to make than others. 

In a street parade of the industries of a community, the float 
which attracted the most attention was the perfect replica of a 
smoker's pipe, reproduced fifty feet in length and naturally 



colored. Smoke was made to rise from its bowl. People are 
attracted to such displays because of their original and uncon- 
ventional character. They represent the unexpected, things not 
ordinarily seen. 

It may well be asked, "Is exaggeration ever wise in advertis- 
ing, even when obviously for effect?" The answer must be in the 

Fio. 77. — A bitiiery box rises high above its surroundings and would appear 
to be a gigantic product, by virtue of relative values, as interpreted by the 

fact that people do not look upon illustrations of the Gulliver type 
as attempts to deceive. An enlarging glass is thrust before the 
product, with the best intentions in the world. 

The human eye is strangely atuned to the normal. Anything 
which honestly startles it causes a sudden flash of interest, not 
to say admiration. Concentration is assured. For that moment 
or two an advertiser has undivided attention. There was 



recently placed on exhibition in a museum the faithful reproduc- 
tion of a common ant, enlarged to the proportions of a horse. 
The exhibit was crowded on all occasions. People were inter- 
ested in detail and intricate organism. Ordinarily, a tiny ant 
might not have attracted a score of investigative persons within 
the space of a year. 



IC'hcn llici/ sat/ a quart Ihei) mean it 

Fio. 78.^ — An ordinary milk bottle may not be said to form tlie basis of an 
extraordinary illustration. But when the artist combines unique technique, with 
a showing of the container, hundreds of feet high, sitting in the midst of attrac- 
tive outdoor environment, a commonplace product takes on immediate ^•isual 

To essories place accin the Lilliput is no more than good 
advertising art. There is always a tendency for illustrations to 
minimize the importance of the product, because of the confusing 
volume of background detail. If, therefore, an advertiser can 
create a type of picture which puts the product forward, it fills 
the eye, while holding down the attention-compelling value of 



accessories. In one way or another, advertisers of a certain 
class of products are seeking just such solutions as this. 

The advertising page is the show room, the shelf, the store 
counter, and the salesman's display rack of printed contact. 
The closer it comes to a fulfilment of the retailer's demonstra- 

FiG. 79. — A jar of salad dressing is made to seem as large as the island of Man- 
hattan by a comparatively simple perspective expedient. 

tion the better. If the background vista of the store can be seen 
through a haze, with the attention of the customer concentrated 
upon a single object, an ideal has been attained. If an advertis- 
ing illustration focuses attention upon the product itself, glorify- 
ing it, giving it every advantage, and making it appear a giant by 
contrast, it would appear to fulfil its major obligation. 


There are any number of constructive reasons why an adver- 
tiser seeks a distinctive technique. It is commonly supposed 
that a sameness in technique throughout an entire campaign 
is employed more or less to hold the schedule to a common 
family resemblance as to physical attributes. In reality, the 
requirement is as fixed as law. People finally associate the 
technique of the illustration with the product and with the cam- 
paign in its aggregate sense. Keeping an entire series in exactly 
the same spirit is an advertising asset, in addition to making 
identification easy. Often a technique is chosen for the reason 
that it will attract greater visual interest in mixed company. 

The "pure outline" school is important enough to have a 
chapter devoted to it. It is most commonly employed for the 
purpose of fighting off illustrative competition and it has no 
worthy rival in this field, strangely enough. This statement 
would appear, at first reading, to disregard tradition. It would 
be reasonable to assume that the more color or the more black 
and the greater volume of shaded area there is in a drawing the 
greater the power to offset surrounding illustrations. 

But competition in display is to a not inconsiderable extent 
regulated by contrast. If statistics show that on the average 
newspaper page or on the average mixed magazine page the 
preponderance is largely of shaded illustrations or of those 
carrying large areas of black, it may be safely set down that a 
picture drawn in delicate pen outline, with no shading, no blacks 
and no variation of values or tones will make its presence felt 
immediately and in no uncertain terms. The element of con- 
trast has entered into that of vision. It is for the same reason 
that, in a row of fifteen or twenty full-color street car cards 
competing for attention through power of rainbow extrava- 
ganzas, a simple black and white card will catch the eye first, 
provided it has been scientifically put together., 




In the newspaper field, one advertiser, an experienced and 
investigative student of the possibilities of display, has gone 
through laboratory tests to arrive at his conclusion. Because 

To men 'wh.o attend banqiuLets 

The favorite peroration of orators and 
after-dinner speakers begins, "What 

this country needs, therefore, is ," 

and the may be anything from 

bener hairpins to bigger, brighter, 
better after-dinner speakers. 

But since 1879* you haven't heard 
anyone say, "What this country needs 
is a better soap." 

For in that year arrived what may 
be called the soap-millennium. All 
the under-sea work in the bathtub — 
the constant searching for sinker-soap 
— which had wasted so much of 
men's time and patience, became at 
once unnecessary. The gymnastics 
of lather produaion were automati- 
cally cut down. And from an incon- 
clusive labor of faith, rinsing grew to 

be a mathematically exact science. 
Soap purity changed at once from a 
theory to a condition. 

As the use of Ivory Soap ("It floats 
— 99"/ioo% pure") spread country- 
wide, there was a noticeable improve- 
ment in men's dispositions; the home 
atmosphere became brighter, and 
much surplus energy was stored up, 
to be released later in the pursuit of 
fame, golf balls and cynical fishes. 

Gentlemen, it is necessary to admit that there 
are still men who have neglected the opportuni- 
ties for self-improvement and social betterment 
offered by the daily use of Ivory Soap for bath- 
ing, &ce-washing and shampooing. What the 
country needs, therefore, is that these stragglers 
be brought into the fold. What makes our task 
so pleasant is that when such insouciant souls 
finally do succumb to the blandishments of 
Ivory, they always become the most enthusiastic 
of its champions. PROCTER & GAMBLE 

mA( ^ lt*ry 5^f 1MJ fU. 


5i9"/i«r. PURE IT FLOATS 

Ac home — 

When you have Ivory (medium iiie) 
fot youf ba(h and shainpoo, and GueM 
Ivory (che new smaller Ivory calre) for 
your face and hands, your soap njuip- 
mcnt rates 100%. 

Fig. 80. — It was never intended, from the inception of this significant series 
of magazine pages, that the illustration should be more than a mere postscript. 
The type story is the thing. An outline technique not only accomplishes this 
objective but provides individuality of campaign atmosphere. 

he uses more space in a larger list of newspapers than any adver- 
tiser -within knowledge, the results of eighteen years of con- 



scientious experience must be taken seriously. No picture drawn 
for him is shaded; on the contrary, the lines are strong and sim- 
ple. Having tried every available technique, he settled upon 
the most abbreviated of all, because he has found that by doing 
so his small-space displays are more certain of visual attention 
than larger pictures in unbridled detail. The many blacks in 
surrounding material and the full-shade techniques emphasize, 
by contrast, the vastly simpler compositions. Exactly the 
opposite would be true if the majority of advertisers suddenly 

Fig. 81. 

Left. — The use of a pure, delicately fashioned outline pen technique, for sec- 
ondary illustration purposes, and to pro\'ide contrast for the main picture in 
halftone. Thus, one illustration does not detract from the other and each 
becomes a wholly separate unit. 

Right. — Aside from the fact that the outline pen technique gives first 
importance to the typographical message, it also serves as a buffer for the product, 
which, in the present case, is made sufTiciently strong to dominate. 

began to use delicate outline pictures. Then the picture made up 
of strong blacks would most certainly hold first place. 

An excellent method of testing this out is to select a dozen 
or more heavily illustrated newspaper pages, whereon many 
competing displays are to be found, and to analyze the relative 
values. The outline illustration will hold its own and even 



more than its own in this mixed company. Heavy blacks form 
a setting for it and supply desirable contrast. 

The same principle prevails on a magazine page which is 
composed of from four to eight individual illustrated advertise- 
ments. Contrast is invariably the life and essence of attention- 
compelling value. And there 
arc more full-shade, photo- 
graphic, heavy black illustra- 
tions than there are 
illustrations in delicate skel- 
etonized form. Aside from 
the novelty of their style, 
there is a scientific justifica- 
tion for their use. 

Some advertisers feel that 
the reading matter is of 
greater importance than any 
illustration. If the picture 
is strong, cluttered with de- 
tail, aggressive, it is, of course, 
certain to overshadow the 
type. In the order of visual 
power, the picture comes first. 
If the illustration is in pen 
outline, there being no con- 
trast and no change in the 
weight of these lines, the 
lightest-faced type will domi- 
nate, and display lines or 
name plates will be relatively 
more vigorous. 

It is unquestionably true 
that where an advertiser has 
a prejudice against illustrations which overwhelm the text, the 
shadowy cobweb pen picture is a certain means of establishing 
his form of display. 

Nor is it necessarily true that any type of subject material 
need lose by this handling. Figure compositions or still-life 
studies can be made equally charming, atmospheric, and con- 
sistent with the stories they are to tell. 

THERE'S sound reasoning behind 
the man who asks about the bear- 
ings in the tractor he's buying. Keen- 
sighted farmers know when the dealer 
says "Hyatt" they need ask no more — 
because Hyatt bearings are an indication 
of the service built into the implement 

For d amfitit liil of }ijaaEq^pP€d Tiaemn uni fmplenmD, vnitt 

Hyatt Roller Bearing Company 

Detrort Wotceacr Ntw.rle HontlnRton 

Chicago Clevelind Buffalo Minneapolis 

NewYoik Milwaukee Plrtibumh PhiladelphU 

San FranciKO IndianapolU 


Fig. 82. — Clean, yet detailed outline 
drawing, skeletonized to the last degree. 
In the complete advertisement, it is sec- 
ond to name plate and display type. 


That outline has its technical exactions any artist will at once 
admit. Elimination and simplification, are difficult from the 
studio standpoint. It is far easier to make a drawing in full- 
shade or emphasized by masses of black than to leave out every- 
thing except the bare essentials. In this simpler technique, 
every line must count, and there is a peculiar quality to the 
lines, a flowing, liquid freeness which few artists master. 



Fia. 83. — A very dominant illustration, held down in strength, by an outline 
treatment, in order to give display lines the chief attraction. 

The methods by which "pure outline" illustrations arc pre- 
pared are as varied as they are interesting. Some artists believe 
that it is best to finish a drawing in which there is consider- 
able detail, and then with a brush and white i)aint, to stop out 
slowly and studiously portions which can be dispensed with, 
until the skeletonized version is attained. They find they can- 



not start out deliberately to draw in outline. It is a handicap, 
of which they are unduly conscious. 

One of the most successful series used in recent years was 
largely an accident. The drawings in line, intended for magazine 
reproduction, were later to be used instead in newspapers. 
But it was immediately recognized that there was too much fine 
shading for reproduction on newspaper stock. The artist was 

Fig. 84.- — -Four interesting outline illustrations, used in a comprehensive 
series, the objective of which is two-fold: First, both in newspaper and maga- 
zine campaigns, the novelty of the idea made the series individual and different. 
Secondly, type was never dominated by illustration. 

asked to go over them and to eliminate as much as he could. 
They came forth a series of outline drawings of a peculiarly 
attractive and novel technique. Indeed, after their appearance 
in newspaper space, it was the unanimous verdict that the cam- 
paign for the following year would do well if the same outline 
plan were adopted. What impressed this advertiser most was 


that, as used in magazines, the series stood out, as contrasted 
with the far more elaborate surrounding advertising illustrations, 
the majority of which were either from wash or photographic 

Another method of production is to first lay out an unusually 
complete pencil sketch, into which much feeling and considerable 
detail has been worked. Over this elaborate preliminary, the 
artist works, in outline, with a fine pen. But he has a perfect 
foundation on which to draw and is therefore far surer of what 
must go in and what can be eliminated. 

The more pleasing illustrations of this school are made, incident- 
ally, with one pen, which makes an even, uniform line. The 
moment too many qualities of line appear the charm of the 
technique is decreased. 

When the subject matter has its base in a photograph, as 
sometimes happens, it is customary to have a silver print made 
from the original copy, and the artist works over it with water- 
proof ink. Then the detail of the foundation is bleached white 
with chemicals. Again, it is thought best, by some artists, to 
pantograph from the photograph on a clean white surface of 
board or paper, and prepare the skeleton outline from this guide. 

Experiments, with a prepared full-shade pen illustration, are 
of the greatest possible assistance in arriving at an acceptable 
technique. An advertiser, having had a complex pen drawing 
made, began a system of graduating reproductions from the one 
original, down to the point, where, in the last example, the simple 
outline was established. There were eight steps, ranging from a 
plate made from the first shaded drawing down through various 
stages of elimination of detail. 

These pen outline techniques are indispensable where, in a 
single display, combination of half-tone and line are necessary. 
Thus, the main illustration may be in half-tone, from a photograph, 
while accessory vignettes, equally important, are in line. 

A sparkling contrast is secured, doing justice to both. But 
when the pen design, in juxtaposition, is heavily shaded, one 
detracts from the other. 

If an outline drawing is desired, and an entire campaign is to 
be so mapped out, it is no more than good judgment to proceed 
slowly and to have several line engravings made, if necessary, 
printing i:)roofs on the same grade of paper stock as will eventu- 
ally receive the campaign. 


Having made his illustration, the artist goes over it a last time, 
with (Chinese white, studying possibilities of further elimination. 
An engraving is made, the size of the completed series, and passed 
upon. It is likely that still further simplification will better the 
entire illustration. Faults which exist in a drawing may not be 
so obvious in the larger original and may only present themselves 
in proof form. 

As a rule, originals in this technique should not be made very 
much larger than their reproduced proportions. Gradations of 
lines, and the composition effects are deceiving. Some of the 
more strikingly attractive outline campaigns have been drawn 
actual size, which means no disappointment in reproduction. 

One of the advantages of the outline drawing, of course, is 
its infallible printability on even the poorest newspaper stock. 
It is only necessary to see that the etching is deep and that the 
areas of white are routed clean. Otherwise, there will be blurred 
"shoulders," where, because of the exigencies of fast presses 
and hasty make-ready, the plate shows up when not intended. 


Of comparatively recent development is the technical glori- 
fication of products which are commonplace, drab, uninteresting, 
and even ugly. Because modern advertising undertakes to 
introduce the consumer to the mechanics of production, and 
because it is a common practice to bare the hidden springs of 
merchandise in all lines, it is obvious that something must be done 
to give color and atmosphere, to objects which, in their own right, 
could lay no claim to popular interest. 

The man who manufactures a lathe, an automobile motor, or 
a heating system, may see some beauty in his product but to the 
consumer, these are products, homely, crude, and lacking in 
imaginative pictorial appeal. 

And there are thousands of such products, born of factory dust, 
steam, grit, and dirt, and appealing only to the creators of them. 
Industries, which, a few years ago, thought only of advertising to 
the plant manager, now undertake, wisely enough, to interest the 
ultimate consumer. It is a logical step, because it is all a process 
of education. The buyer of the automobile of today is asked to 
look deeper than body finish and orchid holders, and to demand 
this sort of motor and that sort of spring. And the cumulative 
power of the reaction is felt by the manufacturer of the 

The principle holds good in almost everything manufactured. 
Advertising itself has cultivated an insatiable hunger for tech- 
nical, mechanical knowledge. In order to make his campaigns 
appealing to the amateur, it has been necessary for these adver- 
tisers to search for a more attractive method of visualizing their 
goods, and the surprising part of it is that the artist has solved 
the problem. He has shown that technique, atmosphere, and 
artistic understanding, can give inherent charm to the ugliest 

The working out of the theory has depended largely upon the 
operations and initiative of a now school of tal(Mit. A mechanical 
device, in the past, when pictured in advertising, went through 




certain traditional phases. It was photographed under ordinary 
circumstances, and retouched by an expert whose catalog design 
training had fitted him for strict fidelity in matters of detail 
and formal, uninspired handling. He was not an artist; he did 
for his department what any engineer would do within his own 
province. He was painfully literal and that was what people 

Fig. 85. — The little Ford tractor is not in the " beauty" class, ])ut as presented 
here, glorified by means of a fine technique as to art, and surrounded by inspiring 
atmosphere, it takes on a new spirit. This was the spirit, indeed, of all Ford 
advertising art, once it struck its stride, because the public had grown to look " too 
far down" on a low-priced product. It was the object of the art embellishment 
to change this public idea. 

expected of him. The difference between his efforts and the 
illustration of the modern school of art is fully as great as that 
between the portraiture of the photographer of yesterday, and 
the camera study of today, which brings people to life, by a 
hundred ingenious and subtle artifices. 



Retouching, as it was known a generation ago, has become 
almost obsolete. Original drawings, or paintings, are made 
which are every bit as fine, as artistic, as the most ambitions 
figure composition. An inanimate object is humanized by 
sundry tricks of light and shade, elimination and addition, com- 
position and pose, surrounding tlccorative embellishment, and 

^ \\ 'he last word in plant and equipment, m 
addition to the finest design and highest 
\l grade ol materials, w-as necesSSr)' in oraer to 
^c a select levs' builders ol line motor cars an 
electrical s>"siem Ixyond anypre\1ous slandanL 
ol excellence- E\idcnce ol the quality eHort 
behind DeJon is found CN'en in the atmosphere 
when.' DcJon is built, in the modernized lactor>' 
with its ivy^ grown walls and park-like sur- 
roundings- Ample proof of De Jons superiontv 
is foimdin the wAy it endows a hnc car with 
an unprecedented degree of clficicncy. 

Fig. 86. — An example of how dc i (,i:iii\c borders and the "stage set" of an 
adverti.scmont may surround the liomt-'ly pruduct with quality atmosphere. Any 
picture of the product itself, in this case, would Ik.' inlu'reiitly commonplace, but 
well groomed typography and highly artistic trappings have taken the place of 
a mechanical drawing. 

simplification. It is less essential to depict detail than to create 
an artistic impression of the thing in aggregate form. 

The salesmanager of a large tire concern had ideals when it 
came to his advertising art. Returning from a trip abroad, 
during which he had visited every salon of any consequence, he 


called his advertising manager into conference and wrote out 
the following significant memorandum: 

We have many competitors. Tire campaigns are at every turn, and 
it is the accepted desire and very natural precedent to show the product. 
But I have not yet observed an illustration of an automobile tire which 
was anything more than a catalog cut, a dull and inanimate representa- 
tion of something made of rubber. 

Now I see our tire in a different light. It is a bearer of burdens. 
There is something at once fine and human in its physical appearance. 
I want no retouched photographs, no cold mechanical reproductions of 
"just an automobile tire." I am firmly convinced that we can do 
more. Where is the artist who can paint a portrait of our tire? We 
must find him, and when we do, we will illustrate our campaign far more 
compellingly than our competitors. 

The task was undertaken seriously. The unique point in 
connection with it was that a portrait painter was chosen 
for the problem- — an artist widely known, who had painted 
royalty, society, and official Washington. But first, he talked 
his assignment over with the salesmanager. He became afire 
with enthusiasm. Could he paint a picture of an automobile 
tire which would make the tire seem {o live? No mere retouched, 
catalog illustration. The artist thought he could. A tire was 
posed against dark red velvet curtains; spotlights were turned 
upon it, with cunning regard for shadows and reflections. There 
were counter-lights, from another direction, and, while he worked, 
the artist "forgot" that his model was not alive. 

The knowledge of what could be done if the proper methods 
and ideals were applied, came to manufacturers of all kinds 
of machinery when advertisers of automobile power plants 
approached the consumer and interested him in the most impor- 
tant part of his car. The manufacturer of machinery also appre- 
ciated that no catalog diagrammatic illustration of motors 
would appeal to the unmechanical mind, so long accusomed to 
allowing that which was beneath the hood to remain a mystery. 

Several remedies were immediately applied. They were all 
allied with the one common need, however, that of looking 
upon a mechanism as something more than an inanimate thing. 
Once this changed angle was established, the illustrations began 
to assume new interest. Principally, it is a matter of lighting, 
for light is an animating influence, of course. One institution 
resorted to photography and the man who made the camera 



studies was not a commercial photographer at all; his specializa- 
tion was portraits of people. But he put into his negatives 
feeling, sympathy, art, and keen knowledge of lighting effects 
and their influence on vision. 

By placing the motor against a piece of skilfully draped 
plush and by playing batteries of special lights on it, from 
one side only, the mechanism was at once given charm, sup- 
posedly remote from a subject of this character. Parts were in 
shadow, parts mistily shown, parts touched with stray shafts 

FiQ. 87. 

Left. — This strikingly successful photographic illustration proves most conclu- 
sively that machinery can be handled in an artistic manner. By dexterous 
lighting, an art background and appropriate settings, the automobile i)o\ver 
plant becomes indeed a pleasing picture. 

Right. — Ordinarily, the picture of a tire is inanimate and rather conimonplaco. 
This handling is an indication of what can be done when a "portrait" is made of 
the product. It is a blend of photograph and highly artistic art accessories. 

of light, as scintillant as gems. There is, indeed, a vast diffcroncc 
between an unstudied, crudely posed object, retouched to bring 
out 100 per cent detail, and the inanimate subject which comes 
under the hand of a true artist, who sees beyond the metal and 
the mechanism to a story of service performed. 

One of the most notable examples within knowledge of glorify- 
ing the inanimate or the inherently homely is that of the recent 



Fig. 88.— Examples of a notable serie.s, in which, by the use of color and 
luxuriant accessories, a homely product is given "class atmosphere.' 


remarkable series of paintings, in full color, prepared for The 
American Radiator Company. 

A heat plant, Cinderella-like, hidden away in the cellar, can 
in no wise be looked upon as an inspiring theme for an artist of 
true sensibilities. The Grand Dame and the pampered pet is 
the piano, the handsome set of furniture, the oriental rug, the 
bit of tapestry, but how can the furnace, covered with the dust 
and grime of a darkened place, be pictured? 

This advertiser could not be reconciled to its lasting pictorial 
exile, such as it had been relegated to for so many years. Somehow, 
somewhere, a better idea could be found — must be found. And it 
was possible as several accompanying illustrations will testify. 

There is a vigorous object lesson in the plan, because it is one 
which may be applied to any subject. The campaign began 
with the wholly relevant and sound assumption that a heating 
plant is as significant in the conduct of a home as pianos, costly 
rugs, furniture, tapestries. Moreover, it was interlocked in 
nuich the same manner with the happiness of the home owner. 
The homely product first received a baptism of prestige and 
homage from its own manufacturers. They saw it not as some- 
thing ugly but as something most attractive, an obligation ful- 
filled, a duty faithfully performed. 

Observe these scenarios for illustrations: "What! guests in 
the cellar! Yes, indeed. Invite them down. No reason why 
they should not see the cellar if there is an Ideal Heat Machine 
installed." The illustration shows a party at a handsome resi- 
dence. The host has invited his guests to see the heating plant 
of which he is justly proud. The red glow from the open door 
of the furnace lights them charmingly. It is a beautiful picture. 
And color has, of course, added materially to it. The artist has 
not attempted to make a technically and mechanically detailed 
picture of the furnace; he has been content to suggest it and to 
allow it to fit snugly and neatly into the composition, where in 
reality it plays a leading part. 

Another scenario runs on this wise: "A last look at a well- 
dressed friend. That last trip down cellar — before you go out 
for the evening." 

A man, in evening clothes, has just looked in to see how the 
fire is burning and is on the point of closing the door again. 
The yellow and gold and red reflections, dance on his face and 
on his entire figure. Because of a pride in the most modern heat 



plant, the cellar has been improved. There is an ornate door 
into the heater room, red tile floor, sundry refinements every- 
where in evidence. Painted in color, it is at once an effective 

The man who heats his home 
with a Capitol Boiler and United 
States Radiators knows the deep 
and lasting satisfaction of pride 
of ownership. 


He knows that his heating 
system is a preferred quality 
product which will justify every 
penny of the investment through 
years of dependable service. 


(Jciu-ral Offuos. Delroll. Michigan 

I -Hill....... Brunch u.i J <W«"-» .11.U.,. -s 

*«'■ -ru'.Vl'iS'' •liJllSi'"'" •i'".''"'"?il?'' ~ ^"1 

I'lG. 89. — By handling the product in an artistic manner and placing a figure 
shrewdly admiring it, the homely Boiler is given sentimental value. 

canvas, the work of Dean Cornwell, an American illustrator 
of note. 



IVew wheels^ IVO/i 


fit your rcaular rims 




Fia. 90. — Methods of artistic retouching and of composition have made it 
possible for the advertiser of mechanical subjects to show his products 


A talented artist can make anything Ijeautiful. What might 
have been merely a picture of a homely furnace in a dark and 
gloomy cellar has become a theme of almost atmospheric delight. 
It's all in the desire, the sympathetic hand, the technique, 
the idea. 

In much the same manner, manufacturers of bathroom fix- 
tures have idealized their subject, although not long since no 
advertiser of the product believed that there was artistic material 
here. Accessories, handling, color, and skilful plots around 
which picture stories could be woven have been leading influ- 
ences for improvement. Glorifying the homely product may 
lead to any number of possible channels, mediums, or basic 

The objective may be arrived at by any one or all of the follow- 
ing methods, each one of which has been tested and found thor- 
oughly efficient : 

1. Artistry of technique: refinements in the interpretation, 
individuality of the artist's own mood, style, manner. 

2. Unique and effective lighting effects with resultant shadows, 
contrasts, monotones, sparkling reliefs. 

3. Basic idea: surrounding the product with animation and 
action which, of itself, suggests quality. The American Radiator 
method is characteristic of this. 

4. Class atmosphere, as expressed in the garnishments. The 
homely product surrounded by beautiful and artistic accessories. 

5. Atmosphere of an exclusive and refined type, supplied by 
an association of ideas. Thus, a kitchen cabinet placed near a 
window around which flowering plants are shown and a vista 
of a well-groomed garden. 

6. Decorative embellishments. Handsome, highly ornate 
border effects, superb compositions, and classic typography. 

7. Beauty and manner of general layout. Sometimes an 
arrangement of simple border of lines, trim type faces, and 
hand-drawn headlines, will supply the essential atmosphere. 

These represent some inter-related schemes which are effec- 
tive. No product, however "ugly," commonplace, or unin- 
interesting, need carry these handicaps into its advertising. 


To say that advertising illustrations should be reduced to 
the lowest terms of detail is to restrict the objective they are 
planned to attain. There cannot and should not be fixed laws 
governing the subject matter of advertising art; every problem 
is unique. It is for the advertiser to decide just how simple or 
how complex a picture should be. The telling of a story, the 
visualization of a service, the creating of desired atmosphere, 
or the staging of a spirited drama are all governing influences. 

Those who prefer simple compositions, one-figure ideas and 
illustrations uncluttered by accessories, have reasons for just 
this type of pictorial treatment. But the illustration which 
features a background as the helpmate of prior interests has a 
sure and a legitimate place in the general scheme of things. 

There is, however, an important difference in the values of 
such backgrounds. Long since, indifferent handling has ceased 
to lend any aid to a composition. The ideal background not 
only assists in telling the story and in establishing a definite 
atmosphere but it is also so surely welded into the whole that 
foreground and background arc virtually one. 

No background should seem to be placed there palpably to 
fill in. If it does not serve a purpose it is better eliminated. 

"News" backgrounds are of paramount pul)li(' value. As an 
instance of this, advertisers will do well to watch with a sharp 
eye the comings and the goings of public interests. Radio has 
swept the country. Ten years ago, the background atmosphere 
might have included airplanes or automobiles; today, it would 
be radio. The advertiser of a cereal wishes to picture a child 
having its supper. In the modern version of such a comjiosi- 
tion, the receiving set and the loud speaker nearby could link the 
child's bed-time story with his evening meal. There are as 
surely fashions in l^ackgrouiids as there are fashions in clothes, 
in architecture, or in the furnishing of homes. 



Backgrounds may be passive or active. The active back- 
ground is conceded to be the best up to the point where it does 
not detract from some more important performance in the 
foreground. There should of course be a sympathetic tie-up 
between these two picture planes. 

After a study of automobile advertising in general, a manu- 
facturer decided that backgrounds for campaign illustrations 

Fig. 91. — To suggest various qualities of the tire, by illustrative comparisons 
and parallels, the advertiser has a number of specialists paint backgrounds of a 
scenic character which would accomplish the objective. 

had been worn threadbare. They were all very much the same 
and, for the most part, non-committal and passive. A car before 
a handsome residence along a country road, near a club house, 
or in a park were in the undramatic class. They were as custom- 
ary as they were dull. Because the automobile carries people 
everywhere and on the most diversified missions, why not illus- 
trate that which was capable of a plot, a story, a romantic or an 
unusual interpretation? 



The inspiration for the series came from letters in the company 
files and it soon developed that the user himself could give the 
artist an idea for a background. A Pittsburgh owner used his 
car to drive out to immense steel manufacturing plants. To 
picture the car drawn up near such a giant enterprise and 
to visualize its owner seated comfortably beside a guest 
both interestedly talking of the mighty plant dramatizes the 

In another composition, a car was shown standing on the dock 
of a quaintly picturesque dock along the Mississippi, just at the 

Fig. 92. — \i\ unconventional background introduced without affectation. 

moment when an old-fashioned Memphis sidc-wheclcr had dis- 
charged its cargo and passengers. Two arrivals by this boat, 
a young man and a young woman, were hiu-rying to the auto- 
mobile. The activity of such an hour was skillfull}' visualized. 
The negroes wheeling cotton bales and the many types of river 
travelers hiu-rying on their way. The backdrop was the old 
boat, its fluted funnels spouting black smoke. 

It is generally the tendency to select far too obvious l)ack- 
ground ideas or themes which are not in any way related to the 
product featured. The steamer illustration is here described 
because it suggests a new background investure and because it 
is intimately linked with the product. 



With a world of episode to select from, there is really no excuse 
for non-committal or passive backgrounds. An advertiser of 
luggage, dress suit cases, and traveling bags had been accus- 
tomed to rather conventional scenes of men, indoors, packing 
such luggage, opening bags, walking as if to catch trains, etc. 
It had not occurred to him that his background could be invalu- 
able as an added feature of every display. 

The drama of the last-minute at the train gate, the jaunty 
walk up the gangplank, and a hand wave back to friends on the 


93. — A pictorial "back drop " thoroughly alive with action and 
industrial modernism. 

dock, or similar incidents, entirely relevant and always with 
the spirit of "something happening" adds thrill and suspense. 
If there is to be a background at all, why not put it to work in 
the product's behalf? Why not, in fact, cause it to assist the 
chief features of an illustration, emphasizing them and bringing 
them into still greater prominence? 

For many years, the advertising of a certain kitchen cabinet 
clung to traditions, as far as background accessories were con- 
cerned, which offered little or no opportunity for atmospheric 
change. The cabinet, a kitchen panorama, and the figures of 
housewife, children, or father were monotonous illustrations. 
It was an interested woman reader who inspired the advertiser 
with the thought that a home need not be eternally humdrum. 



The advertisement was changed. Through an open door could 
be seen the grocer's boy, berries and fruits for the canning and 
preserving season. And the cabinet would soon be put to useful 
work. His smiling face beamed as he stood in the sunlight. 
In the background could be glimpsed the garden. 

Another advertisement pictured a mother peering into the 
yard where children could be observed hurrying from school. 
In full view near her is the cabinet on which is piled a between- 
meals luncheon. 

Fig. 94. — "News value" to this thoroughly modern scenic invcsture. 

For every product, however homely, there is a better type of 
background. It should be sought if the illustration is to be 
dramatic, effective, and generally interesting to the greatest 
number of persons. Any background which fails to work in 
harmony with the body of the illustration, is virtually wasted. 
It is taking up valuable space which must be paid for and, 
when not helping to deliver a message, is clogging its action. 

Of equal importance in the background for the inanimate or 
still-life object. What this prosaic rendering of a lifeless ol)ject 
lacks in reader interest, visually, can be made up by the anima- 
tion of the background. The very large showing of a child's 
play shoe is dominantly strong and in detail because the adver- 
tiser wishes to show the article and to illustrate it in such a 
manner as to elaborate the features of workmanship. If shown 
on the foot of a child, the product would be too small. 


This docs not mean that an advertisement need take on a 
dull appearance, pictorially, which it surely would were nothing 
but the shoe presented. The copy writer's imagination has sup- 
plied the necessary background theme, when he relates: 

Hoiv the hoys in a small New England village help make Keds the 
longest-icearing sports shoes in the world. They're much like other 
boys. They race and tear through village streets, play baseball, 
climb fences and trees and are in general "hard on their shoes." 
The shoes they wear look much like the shoes other boys are wearing 
too. There's a difference, however. They wear Keds on one foot 
only. On the other they wear shoes that are not Keds. At the end 
of several months' time boys report to the big Ked factory at one 
end of town. Here, in the testing laboratories, the wear of both 
shoes is carefully checked and compared. 

A novel copy idea, and one which supplies sufficient drama for 
the modern type of background. In a pen technique which 
might well do credit to a book or to a magazine story, the 
artist portrayed the quaint New England street with its rollick- 
ing boys and girls playing baseball. There are giant elms shad- 
ing lawns and dim vistas of homes with high white columns. It 
is atmosphere of the most inviting type, plus an irresistably 
sensible tie-up with the product which, after all, is the com- 
manding color note of the composition. It is a charming foot- 
note, a gauzy curtain let down behind the detailed drawing of a 
prosaic shoe. 

Naturally, the still-life study stands in greater need of relief 
than the illustration which is a composite of action, human 
figures, and story value. The package of tea with no back- 
ground is weak, by comparison with the composite illustration 
which shows the same package, set off by a panorama of tea 
plantation atmosphere. 

Backgrounds are sometimes thought to complicate the picture 
which is true when a counter feature detracts from the main 
issue. No such fault can be found with composition which 
observes the two major rules here set down. 

The background should invariably be inseparable from the 
main detail in its action and story. 

The background should be original, unconventional, where 
possible, that is, to the extent of discovering themes which have 
not been used, over and over again. A background containing 


elements of news value and of ultra-timeliness is assured of a 
more receptive audience. Backgrounds can, as a rule, be largely 
"news." But it should always be kept in mind that the time 
schedule of the campaign must be watched and that the seasonal 
characteristics of a background should conform with the period 
of its running. 


Opposed to the all-enclosed illustration, which is arbitrarily 
confined by some set form or shape, is the vignetted picture, 
adapting itself to its subject material, to the space it occupies 
and to the accompanying typographical setup. In the old days 
of the half-tone, it was the custom to define sharply an illustra- 
tion. Engravers had not mastered the vignette. 

To vignette means to shade off gradually and to soften off 
the boundaries of a design which might otherwise hold to very 
definite lines. The benefits to the advertiser are numerous. 
The vignette has provided for a greater variety of compositions 
and of typographical effects. An illustration may be neatly 
fitted into the scheme of the type. Unimportant parts may be 
subdued. Concentration on others may be secured. An illus- 
tration may be made to seem larger than it actually is. And 
not least of all the sympathetic relation of picture to the theme of 
the advertisement may be sustained in a more professional 
manner — an achievement which was by no means easy when all 
illustrations were either squared or mortised into circles and 
into ovals. 

The preparation of the original must be considered, in the case 
of the vignetted picture. This is a problem which can not be 
left to the engraver. For the important and more interesting 
compositions are those which have been deliberately constructed, 
in advance. The visualizer and the layout man consider both 
typography and illustrative features as an indivisible whole. 

Vignetted illustrations are used for the following reasons: 

To provide layout individuality. 

To minimize the importance in the composition of non-essen- 

To provide for unique typographical effects. 

To get away from the traditional sameness of arbitrary shapes. 

To distribute the illustrative part of the display more evenly 
over the space. 



To assist in arriving at a cumulative effect, which, in time, 
may become ahnost a trade mark virtue. 

To bring out special elements in an illustration. 

It is best, in any description of the fundamentals of vignet- 
ting, to study and to analyze specific cases. Campaigns which 
have successfully handled this problem are -therefore herein con- 
sidered, with reduced illustrations of the more striking instances. 

Hoover Vacuum Cleaner. — It was the desire of the advertiser 
to call specific attention to the rug, which, in this case, was being 
cleaned by the device. It was just as important, however, to 
introduce accessories of background detail so that the picture, 
which has no figures, might hold attention. The atmosphere 
must suggest that the purchaser of the vacuum chvmcr is a 
discriminating person with a home of the best api)ointnients. 

Squared off, the illustration could not have achieved these 
points, and it would have been smaller in size. Note that now 
the rug is entirely dominant in its relation to the cleaner. 

As it is, in vignetted form, the background fades away and 
is finally lost. Yet there is always sufficient to suggest a dis- 
tinctive atmosphere. Also, the typography is given a natiu'al 
frame, and is embedded in the illustration, an element to be 
desired because attention is concentrated at this point, and 
picture and text work in sympathy. 

It is also to be noted, from a mechanical viewpoint, that 
difficult vignettes, which require expert engraving tactics and 
equally difficult printing requirements, are minimized. The 
soft half-tone vignette, which fades away, is always precarious 
even in this age of expert plate-making and printing. Such 
vignettes may at any time develop a ragged edge. 

In the case of the Hoover illustration, vignetting is accom- 
plished not so much in the accepted sense of softened edges as 
of clean cut demarcations where the design stops. This permits 
the engraver to cut away the half-lone* with no delicate phantom 
effects. The rug is almost in silhouette; the stair carpet, the 
railing, the doorway, the chair, and the walls are sharply defined, 
although, in the aggregate, they constitute a vignette. 

Daniel Green Comfy Slippers. — Vignetting is used in order 
to give prominence to the product advertised. To cut off the 
figure abruptly would mean a distracting jiicture, with the eye 
ever seeking and expecting the remainder of the person pictured. 
The vignette softens these effects. Here the engraver's skill 



is more apparent. Delicate lines are sketchily retained and 
white is introduced to accomplish the most satisfactory and 
artistic results. The vignette concentrates attention on the 
slippers and on the action of such parts of the figure as are shown. 
With its innumerable shadowy lines this plate is difficult to 
engrave. The illustration is drawn exactly as it appears in the 
finished plate, although it is invariably wise to designate on a 
tissue overlay exactly where to vignette and where to "cut 
out" whites on the half-tone plate. 

^y jVotc of (,7/an// 

You Ala y Hcrcc (hcrlookcd 

\ Daniel Green 

; Camfy 



Fig. 95. 

Cadillac Motor Cars.- — Every line and tone and "sense of 
direction" is dedicated to concentrating vision on the car. The 
squared-off half-tone, occupying the entire top of the space, 
would be far less effective. Here, in its most modern version, is 
the smartly up-to-date vignette avoiding all of the mechanical 
pitfalls and printing dangers of the old regime. The so-called 
soft and graduating vignettes have been practically done away 
with. To take their place are crisp cutaways, made possible 
by the painting itself. Wherever possible, the vignetting runs 
to well defined lines and picture demarcations. This, of course, 
the artist has carefully planned in advance. His original shows 
exactly what registers in the finished plate. 



By the elimination of half-tone screen in the background, 
above and around the car, the car is pushed into the vision and 
dominates the entire design. But there is more in this vignette 



T!u- owner of the V(,% Five P.i*<n- 
j!i'r Sedan travels in an atniix^r'"'''e 
of richness aiiJ refinement. . 

Its beautiful Cidillac-bisher Hody. 
appointed with the care used in 
dcci )riiting ;t n exc]Ui^ite Jra wtn^ room, 
alinrdi every (.iciliiy for the convcn- 
inicc and comfort of its piassenger*. 

But the dominant appeal of the 
Setlan, as of all V-ftj model's, w its 
extraordinary pcrtorniance. 

Its hartnonUed and balanced V-Type 
eight cylinder engine - CadilUc'n 
greatest contribution to automotive 


proores* in recent year* lunctions 
Willi a jmoothnes.-* and quietnctts 
row 1(1 motoring 

To the speed and power of this eni;inc 
is added the siilcty of Cladillac Pour 
Wheel Brakes and these qualities, 
combined with instant acceleration 
and exceptional ease of control, in- 
spire the one who drives with a 
sense of complete rMd-master>'. 

Cadillac invites you to approach the 
V'6j Sedan with great expect.ations, 
and is confident that a single ride will 
convince you of its surp;issing quality. 



Fit!. 9G. 

than might at first appear. There is to be taken into considera- 
tion artistry, composition, and skill in adjustment to type and to 
superimposed headline. 



It would not have accomplished anything if the half-tone 
detail of the masonry around the doorway had been permitted to 
remain in the illustration. Its only effect would have been to 
congest the layout and to detract from the automobile. Artists, 
who are the best judges of vignetting, will encourage the sug- 
gestion that they be permitted to make a diagrammatic set of 
instructions to the engraver, in case the original illustration itself 
fails to suggest all that should and can be done by the engraver. 

The Cadillac illustration is an instance of how a vignette may 
in every way avoid the graduating tint, while suggesting it. 


New BeaLiTv 

Fig. 97. 

Where a shrub in a vase or the outline of a doorway appears, the 
vignette becomes a matter of tooling up to well-defined tones 
and lines. In the aggregate, however, the appearance is that of a 
soft vignette. The white space which always follows as a natural 
consequence of a vignette of this type, is, of course, an asset. 

Dodge Cars. — Vignetting was made a constructive feature of 
a series which ran for more than a year. Illustration and text 
became a mosaic of composition. Subjects which might otherwise 
have been much smaller, if confined to a square space, were made 
to seem larger. 

In this campaign, however, there is a return to the old style 
of vignette, that is, there are areas where the half-tone screen is 


made to fade off into white paper. Such plates require special 
make-ready and alert attention on the part of the printer. 
Mechanically, the vignette offers problems to any engraver. 
And these difficulties are magnified when the printing is 
done. Some vignettes are accomplished by tooling work while 
others demand the fadeaway process described. 

The vignette makes it possible to show only a part of an 
object, while suggesting all of it. If the cutoff were sharp, no 
such pleasing and imaginative suggestion could be supplied in an 
illustration. A border line virtually calls a halt on imagination. 
The vignette, however, seems to say: 

"There is more beyond; you may supply what is missing." 


Any discussion of trade marks, advertising characters, sym- 
bols, monograms, and other set devices has no place in this book, 
but where such devices become the pictorial theme of an adver- 
tising campaign, the subject is valid and worthy of analysis. 
It is by no means an uncommon practice for advertisers to make 
a trade mark, whatever its specific technical designation, the 
dominant illustrative theme of an entire series. 

During the past few years, a remarkable change has taken place 
in the attitude of the advertiser regarding his trade mark, whether 
it be a character or a lettered device. He is no longer content 
with allowing it to remain set. The flexible trade mark is the 
more modern plan. Where once it was considered a violation of 
every sensible law of advertising to tamper with these insignias 
and characters, to put them in motion, or to give them new 
aspects, it is now the custom to recreate public interest by any 
number of worthwhile deviations from the original rule. 

The modern trade mark is the one which bids for constantly 
recurrent public interest. People may tire of it or they may 
take it too much for granted. Yet it remains the calling card of 
the company and of the product. If an advertiser places a 
trade mark or a character which is always the same in every piece 
of advertising, it is only natural that popular interest should 
begin to wane. 

One of the most experienced advertisers has said of his trade 

I am not so sure that the public is as interested in my trade mark as I 
am, for I originated it and sponsored it from the beginning. Therefore, 
it is my custom, every so often, to make it the feature of my advertising. 
There is a popular re-christening. I bring it out in new frills and fur- 
belows for the new generation and for the edification of the old timers, 
who may be taking too much for granted. 

I have grown lenient as regards my trade mark; I am willing to change 
it about, to give it new perspective and new viewpoints, and to enliven it. 



If a man stood on the public square, motionless, ahvaj's the same as to 
pose, I fear people would soon grow to pass him by. I do not want to 
make a sort of monument of my trade mark. 1 do not insist that it be 
fixed as to its showing. I vastly prefer to bring it to life. 

The advertiser does not always know how he can bring an 
inanimate trade mark to life. The symbol which has been 
created and which may have become sacred in a sense, through 
long use does not appear to lend itself to vaudeville. It has 
always been shown in a set form, and unvaried. It has been 
stamped on the goods in this original style. Will the public 
recognize it, if it appears in new accoutrements, with fresh 
atmosphere, and from unaccustomed angles? 

The answer is to be found in the far more modern handling of 
trade marks. The spirit, the form, and the physical attributes of 
a trade mark may be preserved, while its presentation changes 
materially. To confirm and illustrate this fact, we have only to 
turn to innumerable instances of its picturesque application. 

The American Telephone and Telegraph Company, since its 
inception, has presented a simplified silhouette bell as the trade 
mark symbol of its operations. This bell is everywhere seen, 
on booths, in literature, on signs, etc. It is one of the best 
examples imaginable, because of its far reaching application. 
Everybody is now familar with it. 

But the bell is, at best, commonplace, pictorially, and after 
it has been reproduced for many years, it is obvious that the 
original power and significance might become dulled. The Bell 
System, conscious of this, touched the insigne with a semblance of 
life. The bell was formed of people and such primary attributes 
as the lettering and the cross lines were duplicated. 

The illustration will be quite imperishable because it is an 
ideal example of how an advertiser may preserve all the tradi- 
tions, ideals and characteristics of a life-long insignia, and yet 
depart from it sufficiently to create fresh public interest. 

Advertisers are unshaken in their belief in trade marks, whether 
they be the most pretentious characterizations or the simplest of 
monograms. They constitute the official signature of the manu- 
facturer. But if they are to remain consistently effective, public 
interest in them nmst be sustained, season after season, and they 
are to be impressed upon the new generation. It must always 
be kept in mind, in the case of a trade mark, that each new gen- 
eration demands a new campaign in its behalf. 



The advertiser either beheves in his trade mark thoroughly 
and stands squarely back of it, year after year, or gradually 
loses faith and interest, and permits it to die a natural death. 
Unquestionably, these reactions are regulated by the intrinsic 
value of the device itself. The trade mark created under the 
spur of impulse and weak as a selling agent from the start does 
not deserve perpetuating. 

Fig, 98. 

Left. — The Whitman's Sampler advertising character while not exactly flexible, 
is reproduced here, in small size, from a full page in magazines, because it illus- 
trates a popular tendency to allow such characters to occasionally dominate. 
They become the sole feature of the message. In the present instance there was 
no text, no display type of any kind, apart from the name on the box which is a 
part of the design jjropcr. 

Ri(]ht. — An ingenious and imaginative method of "bringing a trade mark to 
life," by forming it of a vast mass of people, representing the employees who make 
the Bell System possible. Aside from paying a handsome tribute to these men 
and women, the public is encouraged to look upon a trade mark as something 
intensely alive and human. 

The showing of a trade mark, regardless of its character or 
type, in time fails of results. It is a plant which must be tended 
ever so often or it dies. There is the instance of the manu- 
facturer of soap whose trade mark at one time was nationally 



known. But a change in advertising policy relegated it to small 
space. It gradually became an incident in the advertising. At 
the expiration of several years, sales fell off, and the manufac- 
turer came to realize that his trade mark had always meant more 
than he himself, realized. 

This trade mark, or, more properly, an advertising character, 
was lifted out of its inconspicuous corner and made the spot- 

Jmooths the Hpad 

J0gg^ '^'1 r.'.,.l< .irc Mnr.ll. nnds when 

^^^^^^L ^"'1' '■i*r ts Bo^ch ci|iiip|icJ. 

r-|B (d I "" I' '^-l> Sh<K-k A!»<irhcr is 

' I^^^^P "^^'' '" {•rtnctpic anil desiga. 

J^^^^^ '' iuncfions continuously nni) 

w (iivcs a new comfort to ndini; 

K-^pjir ^ and i new protection to the 

f„ ~ car. Insist on Bokch Shock 

ISw?' Absoiticn! and riJc in comfort 

^"^" and safety. .Made by the 

V»4MAUn makers of dlt fl<-s^h Ma'jncKi. 




■». A-. / Bosih Sp.„k IMui; .".1. ^...,«l .IS iIk li.".Ji M.i^nct.^" Il..s.-h 

dcM'^ncd .Old B-i^h hnilt— a ijujlity ji* thnMli;li..lit. The excliisitc IWjsch 

",Amh),n." ii'MiUtor — pr.iclicalls unlncakahle, ini(>cr\ n >ii> to hc-at or hijjh 

Nickel »tccl jIIov elcctroiles. One piece sticl shell. Leak 

(.r.H.r. Specilv Bosch H„l I'loys and l..r>.el all s|.ark plug 

•' f. Ill »i\e t\pcJ» and si/es. Remilar si/.c-s $i.oo. Foni si7.c 75c. 

A. \l IK lew RO.SQH ^^-^ .M A O N E T O C O K P. 


Fig. 99.- — Throughout niany years of advertising, this symbolic advertisiiiR 
character is shown in every display, busily at work. The artist is iierniitted to 
place him in any position, any pose, just so long as his true identity is preserved. 

light feature of all advertising. No actual change was made in 
its physical presentation, but it was shown larger tliun ever before, 
even in the gala days of its initial appearance. The text paid 
tribute to it. It occupied the center of the stage. 

Now and again, investigations made by an advertiser in retail 
centers convince him that his trade mark is of greater significance 
than he had imagined. If competitors have been encroaching 
upon his field, the most valuable curative influence may be to 



feature the trade mark and to ask people to look for it and to 
insist upon it. 

One of the most notable campaigns ever launched, wherein a 
flexible trade character was utilized in a seemingly endless 
variety of compositions was a series of newspaper and magazine 
advertisements for the Rolls-Royce automobile. There had 
been designed for this car an exquisite figure of speed, easy 
flight and winged victory over space. Wrought in silver, it 
was poised on the radiator cap, a fair face inclined toward the 


56 1« iuit A number — S8 is jtist a nuniSci — hul .^.'nHjrK c-khI ihincs tu c: 

Here are Heinz 5/ Varieties. Hou' many du ymi know! 




Fig. 100. 

Left. — For many years, the Heinz trade mark of the familiar numcral-s, "57," 
were merely introduced as an incidental somewhere in every advertisement. 
But periodically, it becomes necessary to revive interest in such de\'ices and to 
manufacture fresh public interest in them for new generations. By embellish- 
ment, by the magnified space allotment, and by the whimsical background, the 
Heinz 57 is clearly dramatized. 

Right.- — The quaint little Eskimo Kid, of Clicquot fame, is an example of the 
type of advertising character which is set to work in numerous compositions, and 
not arbitrarily held to one position. He is one of a con.siderable family in the 
modern scheme of things. The Little Fairy of Fairy Soap does not climb down 
from the chill aloofness of her oval cake, and the Old Dutch Cleanser girl "chases 
dirt" in exactly the same pose throughout the years. It appears to be an accepted 
theory that active characters make it easier for variety in the advertising 

open road ahead, and flying draperies floating behind like the 
wings of a poised bird. 

Although the Rolls-Royce had adopted a trade mark mono- 
gram of two graceful initial R's, the silver figurette became 



increasingly popular, and began to make its appearance in all 
advertising. But the characteristic phase of these displays was 
in the startling number of different poses. The silver symbol 
was not pictured twice in the same position. Its identity was 
not lost because these liberties were taken. That the illustra- 
tions were of one fixed master model was evident. Repetition 
at last gave the radiator cap figure all the virtues of an accredited 
advertising character. 

Attention is called to reproductions of a number of the Rolls- 
Royce magazine and newspaper compositions. Here the flexible 





Fig. 101. — -While the same figure is used throughout, as the pictorial feature of 
the campaign, observe that no two poses are alike. The artist has selected ever- 
changing perspectives and viewpoints. Trade mark characters never grow 
monotonous when handled in this manner. A significant feature of the Rolls- 
Royce series was the apparently endless variants secured. 

trade mark^ — it has now grown to this estate — is employed wisely 
and with real initiative. It does not become tiresome. It does 
not wear out its welcome. Had a fixed pose been arbitrarily 
chosen to appear in every advertisement, the result would have 
been less pleasing. The campaign in its entirety illustrates that 
more liberal viewpoint regarding trade marks antl advertising 
characters makes for less conventional displays and is nicely 
calculated to prevent such devices from "going to seed." 

It is the modern idea to put trade marks to work. Relegating 
them to some inconspicuous part of the advertisement and giving 
them no more than casual emphasis is an echo of the past. A 
trade mark is no seasonal advertising problem. It should make 
its presence felt always. If a design or a figure has been chosen 
which does not lend itself to variants of display and exploitation, 



this is the advertiser's misfortune. Today's campaign characters 
are studied out in advance and in their relation to copy and 
pictorial possibilities. A smiling baker, who is a composite of 
all the bakers in the country, a sweet-faced mother, who is 
symbolic of universal motherhood, a likable old shoemaker at 
his bench, a master chemist in his laboratory, a garage service 
station worker, a house painter, a servant girl, willing, eager, and 
efficient who becomes the humanized symbol of the service ren- 
dered by electrical household appliances — these are a few of the 

Fig. 102. — In a very remarkable campaign, the chief objective of which was to 
rekindle interest in a name, a trade mark, the Buick advertising devised this 
transparent lettering novelty, whereby the reader is compelled to look through 
the trade mark at the changing panorama of scenic interest upon which it is 
skilfully superimposed. This is, then, an example of how a rather commonplace 
and uninspired device can be given pictorial interest. The backgrounds were 
different in every display. 

interesting host of new advertising characters, which are sur- 
rounded by no rules, and bound about by no restrictions. They 
are ever changing. The public sees them day by day in new 
guises and at new activities. Their flexibility keeps them very 
much alive. 

A parallel case with the Rolls-Royce campaign is the strategic 
series created for the Buick automobile. Here the advertiser 
was somewhat handicapped by the fact that his trade mark was 



Why keep FRICTION 
on the Pay-roll? 


qA cosily discredit 
to good management 

) he partly 
iig ]>ower— 

pulV, .Ira^ and Iml.l 

.iiffcrcnr u) 
the jniquw 

What oUs should you use .' 
— what ihould ^-ou p«v f"r thcm! 

Vhai wc knuw your oquipmcnr and op- 
r.i!iag contl'ttion^ il<v makjng a Lubrtca- 
lun AiiJit c¥pUin€il in column at right), 
re can pfcachbe the correct mts for the 

1 Lubrication Audit 


J wit. 

•M »iU Jian^c (aggiT(( mathincTV into 
h^nrry whtHc c^^crjtiun U a crAlir to 

W' ycHi rcAti^ that neatly every pU 
•ni- tinw nr aitothcT ha^ xJiul 
li.wn (o^ rtuair>— due 'o lawlM 


recommend wilt be corrcrt fc^ 
d ritli in luhrit«infi (tualltici - 
I to k«p in inmd (hut the brt! 
OiU arir thos* that luhricaic most, llw)' teill 
cn*t jou, projufHy. a fc» ttnti rmwr jvr galkwi 
than oiU rif lower luhricaling qtuliucs. 

Vou will |«y the pritx of high quality oils 
whether you uw them or not. In not uiing 
thori, you Nimply j»ay for them in power losses. 
repairs and shut<<lowiu. 

Wr invite you to let us dctnonMrite the 
Miivrior rCwwHny of Gargoyle Luhritailng Oil^, 
vr! i(i.\l hv u* lo meet your particolar hihri 
caiing problems. In writing 
kmdlv ajdrcw our nearest branch 

Lubricating Oils 

y/gmjf/r.r (Hili type of <<T(ke 

t. HtCKINUi l>.Uk>nc»> 


Fig. 103. — Although the Vacuum Oil ('()iiii>:iny lias an established trade mark 
in its Gargoyle feature, the far more popular and interesting device is an allegorical 
figure of Friction, used consistently throughout numerous camijaigns and always 
in different, as different stories are related. l-$y running the figure proi)er in 
a brilliant red, its ghostly (lualities are emphasized. 


the hand-lcttcrccl name plate. There was no dramatic and 
imaginative human figure. 

The trade mark was brought to life by allowing it to partly 
merge into constantly changing backgrounds which were atmos- 
pheric to a degree and which were not duplicated. If a series 
was to be used on the inferior paper stock of farm journals, 
then the illustrations were in pen and ink, for line reproduction, 
and the scenic backdrop, behind the trade mark, was colored 
with rural activities. If another series was to appear in standard 
magazines, the backgrounds were higher in the artistic scale, and 
reflected the atmosphere of this market. But in order to see 
the illustrations it was necessary to look through the trade mark, 
which was done in the "ghost technique" transparent, of the 
X-ray school. It was this feature which made the campaign 

The worker trade mark has taken the place of the drone. 
The awakening to this better application has caused advertisers 
to adopt in reality two trade marks. Acknowledging the futility 
of breathing inspiration into devices which were conceived 
many years ago, manufacturers look about for suitable insignia. 

]\Iore significant in the advertising history of the Vacuum Oil 
Company than the gargoyle, from which the product takes its 
trade name and which, years ago, was selected as a business 
symbol, is the cunning figure of Friction. This figure is a living 
trade mark; it is susceptible of innumerable changes and applica- 
tions. It may stand arrogantly atop the industrial plant in one 
display, or retard the easy movement of factory wheels in the 
next. Friction is made a tangible though imaginative reality. 

Another modern development is advertising characters which 
are truly alive. They are either drawings or photographs of 
actual people with whom the reader is apt to come in contact. 
In their effort to sell direct, and in building up great nation-wide 
selling organizations for door-to-door calls, a number of advertis- 
ers picture these selling agents in their campaigns. 


Many years ago, as a feature of the famous Eden Musee in 
New York, there was a strange, uncanny chess player. It was 
no more than a dummy, richly garbed in oriental silks, but those 
who wished to do so, could sit at a chessboard, and when its time 
came to make a play, the lifeless hand moved, the composition 
fingers grasped the chessmen, and the game proceeded. Every- 
one knew that it was a dummy, but the semblance of life gave it 
popular attraction. There were always crowds in that corner of 
the gallery. 

When inanimate things are made animate, people are interested. 
In an advertising sense, this constitutes an infallible method of 
arousing attention for commonplace objects. To put the prod- 
uct to work is an accepted expedient and one in which the 
artist has become remarkably proficient. A tin of salad oil 
might have little attraction. There are thousands of products in 
boxes and cans and few of them are unusually distinctive. But, 
as in the case of Wesson Oil, give the container legs, arms, a body, 
and put it in motion, and it immediately wins reader attention 
which did not exist before. It is an unusual type of illustration. 

As the feature of a most unconventional newspaper campaign, 
the advertisers of Wesson Oil brought the homely container to 
life. It was represented, to all intents and purposes, as a thrifty, 
busy housewife, although no actual face was required to suggest 
this idea. A checked apron and rolledup sleeves constituted 
the only addition to the can, with now and again a glimpse of 
quietly shod feet. In some large displays, there were progressive 
illustrations, which pictured the Wesson Oil can first rolling the 
dough, then fitting it snugly into the pie tin, then cutting the 
apples into bits, and slicing off the edges of the crust, and finally 
the finished pie, ready for the oven. 

The advertiser gains in the following ways by bringing his 
product to life: 




Attention concentrated upon the container. 

Makes for remembrance value of product. 

Provides interest in an object which, of itself, may not be interesting. 

Supplies connected theme for a series of advertisements. 

Closely associates the product with the service it performs. 

Gives full credit to the product instead of to the individual user. 

Secures reader interest in advertising subjects which are commonplace. 

Fig. 104. — Members of a jolly, thrifty little family, as a can of oil is imbued with 
life and becomes a housewife of the old school, ready for any problem. Features 
— eyes, nose and mouth are not even necessary to accomplish this interesting 

There are numerous methods by which an inanimate object 
may be brought to life, but the obvious and perhaps the best 
idea is to give it arms, legs, and a face. There are rules and 
observances, however, which should always be kept in mind and 
one of the most important is to hold the product itself adequately 
clear of added accessories. The value of the plan is to famihar- 
ize the consumer with the article in such a manner as to make it 
easier for him to recognize it when he sees it at its point of sale. 
It has been found that comparatively few persons can instantly 
identify a package, for example, when it is placed with many 
other brands. 

A still more valuable attribute is that of an association of 
ideas. The product itself does the work. A fundamental 
thought in connection with it is visualized. When considered 



from one point of view, heating plants, for examples, may be 
pictured as tyrants, making their owners step lively and over- 
whelming them with fussy exactions, or they may be conceived as 
self-sufficient helpers, cheerfully attending to their own affairs, 
without complaint or assistance. A manufacturer of boilers 
and radiators for homes believed that this humanizing of a 
commonly known device, would more surely convey the basic 
idea of a certain advertisement than much technical descriptive 
talk. And to visualize it, he had drawn a man, shovel in hand, 
looking at two heating plants. One plant, chosen at random, 

Fig. 105. — The product, a can of oil, given life and made to take the part of 
a traffic officer, while Noise, Carbon and Wear with hands, arms and legs, enter 
into the spirit of a humorous situation. 

had a surly, glowering face drawn on its asbestos surface. The 
ugly mouth was drawn down into a leer, the brows were con- 
tracted, and the entire expression one of insistent, unflinching 
selfishness. It pointed significantly to a huge pile of coal, as 
much as to say: "I'll use all that before the winter is over, and 
more. Whatcha got to say about it?" The manufacturer's 
heating plant, on the opposite side, wore a wholesome smile. 
It looked affable as it pointed to the small amount of coal it 
demanded. A humanized contrast was established by means of 
animating the apparently inanimate. The method often requires 
the viewpoint of the trained cartoonist. 

To bring a product to life by giving it eyes, nose, mouth, arms, 
and legs, with no adequate selling and advertising objective. 


is apt to strip it of its dignity. It is by no means a good practice 
for continuous advertising usage. Where a whimsical turn of 
copy gives an illustration of this character validity, it makes a 
valuable addition to any campaign. 

Anything from a factory building to a can of soup may be 
animated by the resourceful and imaginative artist. A notable 
series for use by a manufacturer of paints and varnishes used, in 
most remarkable and amusing pictures, innumerable types of 
houses from the bungalow to the mansion and from the small 
factory to the industrial plant covering many acres. Windows 
became eyes and doors were mouths. The buildings, although 
architecturally sound, had a delightful way of expressing their 
moods. The house which had been neglected and which was 
therefore falling into decay bore the most desolate and dejected 
expression, as it huddled behind a clump of leaf-shorn trees, 
against the grey and windy autumn sky. No hope left! Its 
owner had for too long a period thought paint unnecessary. 
"Woe is me!" moaned the unhappy edifice. 

On the other hand, the advertiser gave the public spritely, 
smiling, jaunty homes, their eyes dancing with content and their 
complete expressions at once visualizing the joy of the surface 
saved. Advertising illustrations must be obvious to a degree; 
such illustrations, primitive as the cartoon idea which gave them 
birth, are essential to the campaign of a well-balanced year. 

The surprising part of it is that the possibilities appear 
unlimited. "But I can't bring my product to hfe," complains 
the advertiser to whom the idea appeals. "It is not suited to 
that sort of thing." There are practically no limitations. But 
a special type of talent is required to do the thing naturally, 
without straining for effect, and with the true sense of humor, 
which largely regulates success. It occurred to an artist recently 
to draw a series of studies of trees. He felt that they were nearly 
human, being happy or unhappy, sick or well much like people. 
From this inspirational idea came an impressive series of 
drawings, wherein trees actually did become human. The 
characterizations ran all the way from the elf-like dancer to the 
cringing, hand-clasping Uriah Hecp. 

An equally significant method is that of lending form to sensa- 
tions, to conditions, and to words for which there is no true 
illustration. An insurance company has created a symbol of 
fire — a sinister figure, dressed in funeral black, a cowl on 



the head, and features, hands, and feet of carmine. Because the 
advertising is always run in two colors, the significance of the 
flaming face and hands is peculiarly impressive. 

The picture of a fire would not, under any circumstances, stand 
the advertiser in as good stead as this human symbol of it, crafty 
and eager to destroy. It insists during its progress, from week 
to week and month to month, that persons think in a new 
way of the subject of fire and of the responsibility to guard 
against it. Fire has been pictured as beating at the metal 

Keep Fire. Out! 

Fig. 106. — An insurance company makes the public see Fire as a crafty, 
malignant, revengeful figure, of leering red countenance and the black habiliments 
of disaster and death . . . more effective than illustrations of burning houses, 
it must be admitted. 

windows of a factory, as shying from the patent e.xtinguishers, 
as juggling with human lives, as a domineering swaggerer, strid- 
ing across miles of damaged homesteads and business buildings. It 
is easier to grasp the significance of what fire is and what fire does, 
when it is brought to life and given an individuality of its own. 
Power has been animated and given material form in numerous 
ways, more habitually as a giant doing things which require feats 
of terrific strength. As an indication of the almost inexhaustible 
fund of art ideas, attention is called to a vividly imaginative 
illustration reproduced on these pages. The accompanying 
text gives a word picture of the advertiser's basic thought — how 
much more effective is the picture: 



The most expensive walk-out in the world — the Power Strike, Power 
is continually going on strike. Up the chimney it goes, or dribbles 
away through packing leaks, through bare, hot pipes and surfaces, or 
elsewhere tliroutihoiit the plant. Wasted power is wasted fuel. 

Your Boiler is your Boss— f>ick a good oiie 


Tlu-nu..,.xrcn.Mvc g 






.. fbm 







Let him howl! 

Penny- shelving' 

] dangcnius pr.icTicr in plant niaiiiigenunt 


Lubricating Oils 


Fig. 107. 

Upper Left. — Bringing two types of heating plants to life, cartoon fashion, to 
elaborate a sales argument. The gruff and "bossy" furnace, a coal consumer, 
and the smiling example of economy, given character by a few deft strokes. 

Upper Right. — Winter, made into something more than snow and ice, by an 
artist who pictures it as a lone wolf, howling on a wind-swept hill. Animals, 
because of their familiar characteristics, are often employed in this spectacular 

Lower Left. — Waste power, animated and given "personality," which permits 
the copy to draw an apt comparison with labor and the sullen strikers. A 
dramatic type of illustration is the result. 

Lower Right. — Friction may be "animated," but visualizing it by a less effec- 
tive method than the above, would be exceedingly difficult. For several years, 
the advertiser always portrayed friction as the great, retarding giant, thus more 
definitely establishing an idea for the multitudes. 

This text is quoted because it so perfectly fits the mood of 
the illustration which has been drawn for it. The conven- 



tional picture might well have been a mere industrial panorama 
of factory buildings and high chimneys. In the foreground 
loomed the topmost brick masonry of a wide-throated chimney, 
hundreds of feet from the ground. From it, rose heat waves, and 
escaping steam. Into these elements were sketched brawny, 

Tramp labor or skilled help? 

Success in fanning demands 
that you weigh these facts 

retUy yaad lubrMidnf }o(> i> u rsoliiK » MibniluIiKf o* MobUoJ. hriojKl ■! itifftrmi pli 

•litrflni irimp tibw fcf umir tip-Wt Wp •">*« Vou -lU fa«l i» <l.l*ne«t 

fht itiony l«l-H.twJ hy GxtfoyU M<*.lo.l KMilly >tm«K». 
ien icramplith mort, jux at rou irttMncli-Ji mvrc Til ) tc|Hritf (illont offhfip a 

iSc* )<« *Sy trimp Itbonn Oi* wnple lMi<l> «l 

tndnttd ttpiriaify for in ntrdi (J) EsttrimeeAnlf 

^•nt ytM. bill for thnr lutmlfH 

t o( >h( V.(uun. CM Boird of E 


TRACTOR Lubrica 



Fig. 108. — Cheap, inferior oil, and the efficient kind, characterized aptly 
enough by means of human figures. Poor oil may be compared with unskilled, 
lazy tramp labor, always eager to avoid responsibility. 

broad-chested toilers, their sledge hammers over their shoulders, 
upper parts of swarthy bodies bare, and faces sullen. Power 
was put into picture form and given dramatic illustrative interest, 
for a subject which might easily have been commonplace. 
Winter! How could such a theme be animated, given more 
than passive character? Surely, not by even the most adequate 
picture of a snow-covered landscape. A manufacturer of radi- 
ators sees winter through the eyes of a dreamer with colorful 



imagiaation. On the crest of a white hillside stands a wolf, at 
bay, the frosty breath steaming from its red nostrils. And, down 
in the valley, there are snug homes, protected from the most 
severe weather by proper heating plants. "The Wolf of Winter! 
He howls. Let him howl. He lurks at doors 
and windows. He preys on the health of 
children. His cry is the biting north wind." 

A lubricant for farm machinery is visual- 
ized as the efficient farmhand, who is up and 
on his job, as opposed to the lazy, unskilled 
idler asleep under a tree, when supposedly at 
work. A working quality is pictured, ani- 
mated. Poor, cheap or indifferently made 
oil is represented by the slacker under the 

Such illustrative devices as these give all 
advertising a welcomed and necessary variety 
of illustrations. Otherwise, all available 
material would be used up, and monotony 
would be inevitable. 

Another advertiser of automobile and fac- 
tory oils has for many years based all adver- 
tising illustrations on a crafty ghost and 
the enemy of efficiency — Friction — put into 
human form, forever holding back the wheels 
of progress. For a campaign may talk the 
facts of friction without ever once actually 
visualizing its evil intent toward public 
welfare. The moment it is shown actively 
retarding production, the most unimaginative 
mind can grasp the story. 

Because its manufacturers claim that a radiator valve is a 
saver of heat and therefore a saver of coal, an advertising trade 
mark character has been invented which animates a service 
performed. "The watchman of the coal pile" is the slogan and 
the standardized picture shows a neat, efficient watchman, in 
uniform, deftly worked in the outline of the valve itself. Illus- 
trative advertising of the idea has a broad field of wealth, as 
yet utilized only by the more progressive advertisers. 

Fig. 109. — An inani- 
mate product, an air- 
valve, made animate 
by the simple expedient 
of suggesting it as a 
watchman of the coal 
pile. Both product and 
figure are skilfully 
fused in one composite 



There are occasions, in every advertising campaign, when 
something in the text, a hne, a reference, a happy headUne, will 
provide for the use of a peculiarly compelling method of illustra- 
tion. There is a demarcation between the purely sensational, 
melodramatic type of illustration and the one which is obviously 
and frankly fantastic. As one advertiser has said, 

Niagara, as it is, attracts millions, but if the waters of Niagara 
tumbled up, instead of down, the entire nation would flock to see it. 
We attempt, in our campaigns, to use with great frequency illustrations 
which are absolutely irresistable and we have the known reactions of 
human nature to reassure us. People must "stop and look." Any 
campaign stands in need of this "Picture tonic" wisely administered. 
It requires a great deal more thinking to arrive at such illustrations but 
they automatically guarantee a receptive audience. 

For the most part, these whimsical, striking, and even fantastic 
and unreal ideas proceed from a subtle element in the opening 
lines of the text. They are most valid when this sympathetic 
association does not strain too hard for tieup. 

The object of most illustration is to amplify visually what is 
said. In this hurried generation, illustration must serve largely 
as the ballyhoo of the "big show." 

The artist draws a picture of an energetic small boy sawing a 
piece of plank on one of the most expensive chairs in the library. 
Unconsciously, the reader shudders with apprehension. That 
invaluable Jacobean chair will be absolutely ruined. Whatever 
can be happening. The boy is using a Simonds saw. One thing 
is certain although the association of ideas may be unpleasant, 
the eye has been lured and attention more than ordinarily con- 
centrated. It is the type of picture which refuses to be ignored. 

"Let's go back along the Road to Yesterday," states an equally 
compelling headline, and even now, the objective of the illustra- 
tion has not been brought out. It is necessary to continue: 



Somewhere back among the days of the old swimmin' hole and cat- 
fishin' along the river bank, there's one day that was long remembered — 
the day that first tool-chest arrived. Mother probably worried about 
you sawing up the legs of the old square piano. Dad probably looked 
on and smoked himself into pipe dreams of your future . . . And you 
— why you knew you'd grown up. Why not gratify the liking that 
you've still got for good tools by including in your tool equipment a 
Simonds Hand Saw. 

The advertiser is willing to depart from the conventional 
illustration found in campaigns for a product of this character. 

Fig. 1 10. — An illustration which gives the reader a sudden thrill of apprehen- 
sion, as the small boy saws a plank on the expensive parlor chair. The desire is 
to read the text and find out "what's it all about?" 

The idea which depends largely upon sentiment and fun and a 
pulse quickening dash of action is out of the ordinary. A great 
many men will grin reminiscently at sight of the small boy so 
earnestly at work on the family's prize chair. 

Illustrations coming under this classification, however, are 
more generally based upon an even deeper indulgence in dra- 
matics and in sensation. A large rugged hand reaches into 
another picture and, selecting one car on a street teeming with 
vehicular traffic, grasps it from behind, holds it, and prevents 
it from easily proceeding. It pictures the headline thought 
"The unseen hand that holds back your car. The 'drag' that 



An outdoor heating systctn 
Is ytnm one? 


^._ » Improved , 


The Uiiscfn Hand 

that Holds Back Your Car 

— saves cnal 


When Your Motor 
turns Broncho 

^>r' ''. —liim'l tntitli 

Din and Wuler in Vuur Gav>Iiiii 
Is What Makes V, 

Ufuier/ieath tlmtpcyjectfmish 




^Mtlihi^ takes the place of 


Fig. 111. 

Upper Left. — Illustrated conventionally, literally, the subject of steam pipes 
and their insulation would not be apt to interest a very largo audience, but l)y 
dramatizing an idea, the advertiser compels attention. 

Upper liifjht. — Mechanically devised illustration for a product of this character, 
might easily fall into the uninteresting and unattractive class. But by picturing 
a condition known to all motorists, in this rather thrilling manner, the embel- 
lishment of the advertisement forces attention. 

Lower Left. — A mechanical theme given intensive reader interest, because of 
an imaginative illustration which very cleverly \isualizes the idea of a "bucking" 
automobile engine. 

Lower Right. — Discussion of the importance of knowing the quality of the raw 
material which is in the sole of a shoe, vi\'idly and irresistibly presented by 
means of an illustration. A commonplace subject is given melodramatic action. 


water and dirt in your gasoline puts on your motor." The 
picture is used in an advertisement for a device for straining 
gasoline on a motor car. 

In a remarkable series for American sole and belting leather, 
a giant shoe was turned on its heel, with the sole facing the 
reader. It is surrounded by a crowd of interested people neces- 
sarily in miniature. The shoe towers above their heads. A force 
of six men are sawing the shoe in half. The two parts of the 
sole fall apart at the top. The text for the advertisement is a 
plea with the public to give greater consideration to "what is 
underneath that perfect finish," the inside facts about shoes. 
And, in order to give drama to a subject which might be difficult 
to illustrate compellingly, the artist has had recourse to a com- 
position which is sure to command universal attention. To 
cut a shoe in two for example, and make this the illustration for 
the message would have been to invite a limited and indifferent 

It will be observed, then, that advertisers are literally forced 
to turn to "attention compellers" where the subject in hand is 
of passive reader interest. Many products could not have been 
exploited successfully had it not been for imaginative illustrations 
accompanied by dramatic text, which, working together, created 
adequate reader response. Inherently, these products possessed 
none of the essential attributes of what may be termed good 
advertising. Granted that the man who buys a pair of shoes 
should take an interest in the soles of his shoes and the material 
of which they are manufactured, he is apt to be aggravatingly 
indifferent. But his enthusiasm can be stimulated by something 
unusual in illustration and in text. 

Incongruous as it may seem, to show an illustration of an other- 
wise perfectly groomed man, wearing a pair of garters around his 
neck, the advertiser is insistent upon making the prospect give 
added attention to a new thought in connection with the prod- 
uct. "If garters were worn around the neck, you'd change them 
frequently." Right. No commonplace, conventional illus- 
tration would make men realize that it is just as essential to 
have garters always neat and free from perspiration and "that 
wilted look," as it is always to have clean linen. 

The attention compeller is often admittedly far afield from the 
product itself, but this is no argument against its use, provided 
the tie-up is founded on some logical selling conclusion, com- 



parison, or pictorial parallel. A manufacturer hit upon an 
exceedingly ingenious and necessary idea. He was momentarily 
deterred from producing it because he felt that the article was 
not sufficiently sensational or out of the ordinary in the service 
performed to provide a successful advertising campaign. The 
advertising, in other words, would be tiresome. 

If Garters were worn 
around your neck 
you'd change them 

Buy a fresh pair of 


No metnl c«n touch you 

today. j'Zo'XL 

oii^AGO ASTtlNA COMPANY Mw ronK .. 

■' Jf coal wereWmTE 

f T^ rhf \>.yr\ ot ihiit bufn^ «vrc 
L white and the p.»rT that cannot \< 
burned were lilacL yaw uouIU rtjli:c 
**hi<t clean coal nicaiuw At a jtl.tnve vou 
wimld *ct what a \va<tc of nmnev and 
encr^' it is to i>a\ fmitht charjjc* on 
&\d full (tf tindoirable impurities ;ind 
hovvtr\(vn»fvc poiv.unprrparcdc^'al i*- 

C4>n<it>ltdntiun Ca«l \h mined actord- 
inji to ciciin method^ It Is thorxmchlv 
prcparcd for the furnace i»r k^'^p'''"' 
after it i^ mined. When it rcacho ihc 
consumer it is clean bttuminouit Ck>at, 
with ihc hifihcM heating value — coal 
which yield* more en<rv\ than ^vhen 
full of free impurities and which in- 
sures the maintenance of prtxUictive 

(COW. (X"^MPA\\ 

Fig. 112. 

Left. — Irresistible, is this unique illustration, and, withal, legitimatized by 
its basic argument. One thing is certain — it will never be passed by. 

Right. — White Coal! Whoever heard of such a thing? Yet there is a per- 
fectly sound argument embedded in this amazing picture. 

Nor did he put this article on the market until a resourceful 
advertising man originated a serialized idea which was sufficiently 
strong, pictorially, to compel the public to take a spirited interest 
in a prosaic theme. Do the unusual, the imoxpectcd, and you 
are certain to attract attention. But do it wisely and with the 


justification that there may flareback no fecUng on the public's 
part that it has been hoodwinked. 

Select a product such as toothpaste. Twenty years ago, the 
manufacturer would not have departed to any considerable 
degree from illustrations which were looked upon as adequate in 
that day. There might be the reproduction of the package, a 
still-life study of a characteristic washstand, or illustrations in 
countless numbers of grownups and youngsters brushing their 
teeth. Repeated, year in and year out, the monotony of such 
themes inevitably consumed their own vitality. They became 
a story too old. 

Today, the advertiser of a tooth paste, knowing that the 
pubhc is rather "fed up" on the subject and unwilling to investi- 
gate every campaign which comes along, strategically searches 
for the unconventional in illustrations, in order to arouse an 
arbitrary interest in his tooth-paste. 

Animals and primitive savages are known to have superior 
teeth; in any event, so the tradition runs. But then they are 
not subject to civilization's ways of eating and living. There is 
a copy tie-up. The bathroom scenes and the still-life stupid- 
ities are avoided, and instead stirring pictures of a tiger, a lion, 
or the character study of an African chief, with a back-ground of 

If the campaign is approached from another angle, the picture 
may be of dinner tables, starting in the foreground of the com- 
position and reaching into the distance until they disappear on 
the horizon. What has such an illustration to do with tooth 
paste. The advertiser is prepared for the question: 

The meals of yesteryear — what have they done to your teeth and 
gums? This soft food of ours, appetizing and delightful to the palate, 
does not give our gums the stimulation that rougher coarser food once 
gave. And the food we eat has a great effect upon the condition of our 

Another advertiser bases his copy upon the motor car engines 
failing to work, when there is gasoline trouble. A few lines of 
the text will assist in visualizing the picture problem: ''When 
your carburetor needle valves is clogged, your perfectly good 
motor begins sputtering and bucking." 

An illustration of a motorist fussing with the choker and other- 
wise disgruntled over the way the engine is behaving would be 
passive. A picture of the device, a clarifier of gasoline, would be 


even less interesting. How can the prospect be urged into 
reading through the lengthy discourse, when the subject is 
lacking is so many essentials of the advertising interest of the 
thoroughly modern and necessary type? An artist with vision 
accomplishes it dramatically. 

And the headline, "When Your Motor Turns Broncho" dove- 
tails to perfection with the illustration. A motorist is lifting 
the hood of the car, none too pleased. In ghost-technique, a 
mere shadow against white paper and fading into the detail of 
the engine, is the striking study of a cowboy on a bucking broncho. 
The broncho's head is lowered, its heels are in the air. It is 
raising the "dickens of a fuss." The rider must watch himself 
or be thrown. 

Here is a thoroughly admirable illustrative attention- compeller, 
packed with life, zest, and an imaginative quality, different in 
every respect from the average of advertising illustrations and 
sufficiently unconventional to arrest the lazy mind and eye. 
All the while, the relation to the subject is legitimate. 

A few 3'ears ago, no manufacturer of wrought-iron pipe would 
have thought of spending hundreds of thousands of dollars in an 
attempt to interest the average citizen in a subject so far removed 
from his general trend of thought and contact. In this adver- 
tising generation, everything is made " advertisable " through 
the brilliant association of ideas. And the illustrations used have 
much to do with the ever-increasing success of these remarkable 
campaigns. In a sense, they make the advertising irresistible, 
by arousing the keenest possible curiosity. 

There are object lessons in such campaigns as the following, 
a characteristic illustration selected from each campaign to 
designate how shrewdly the problems have been handled: 

Scenario Plot for Picture: Bitterly cold winter day. Foreground: man, 
well muffled (average home owner) desperately shoveling coal into furnace. 
But the furnace is standing right out in yard, surrounded by snow. Over- 
head pipes run from it to the cottage in the distance. Incongruous repre- 
sentation in every way and made purposely so. Headline suggestion: "An 
Outdoor Heating System — is yours one?" Copy lead: "You are very 
much like the man in the cartoon above trying to heat all outdoors if you 
allow the heat from your fuel to get away before it reaches the rooms you 
want to warm." Article advertised: Asbestos covering, insulation, for 
heating jjipes. 

Scenario Plot for Picture: Brow of steep hill. On either side, giant feet 
and legs of a human figure, taking immeasurably large strides. Between the 



two heroic feet, automobile casilj' and gracefully speeding up the hill. Cap- 
tion: "The powerful Paige walks up-hill in high." Point to be put over is 
that this automobile possesses much reserve power. 

Scenario Plot for I'icture: A typical business office. Many men working 
at desks. Through the office, criss-crossing, dominant, incongruously 
placed, immense pipe trunk lines. They join up with waste paper baskets 
at every desk. Men shown thrusting paper, letters, booklets into them. 
Pipe line terminates in large display in fore-ground, where waste paper is 
whirling into a very much larger basket. Headline: "Watch your oflSce 
exhaust. An ounce of inspection may save you tons of paper." Objective of 
advertisement: To convey the idea that: "Beside each desk in your office 

Watch voiir office exhaust 

-T?ic Powerful /\n>c Wcilki Up-hill in tii0i 



Fig. 113. 

Left. — No office ever claimed such an astonishing contraption as is hero 
pictured, but the advertiser draws reader interest, and arouses his curiosity by 
an exceedingly novel scheme. The commonplace is made uncommonplace by 
an art "trick." 

Right. — -The picture of an automobile racing up a hill would be ordinary as 
compared with this dual visualization of an idea. The suggestion is immedi- 
ately put over that the car in question can "walk" up a hill — with plenty of 
power to spare. 

stands a waste basket. Empty every morning; emptied every night. 
Waste baskets live on paper. Some of them lead a normal existence. But 
in the office where paper is bought in a haphazard manner, purely on a price 
basis, waste baskets live in perpetual plenty." Product advertised: Busi- 
ness stationery. Argument against waste. 

Scenario Plot for Picture: Faint, hazy background of coal production 
plant. Square mortise, with dark tone to set off large piece of white coal. 


Caption: "If Coal Were White." Copy idea: "If the part of coal 
that bums were white and the part that cannot be burned were black, you 
would realize what clean coal means. At a glance 30U would see what a 
waste of money and energj- it is to pay freight charges on coal full of undesir- 
able impurities and how expensive poor coal is." Product advertised: 
Consolidated Coal. 

These examples, with their unusual illustrations, suggest 
the wide possibilities of pictures which are attention compellers, 
when linked with a sound basic selling idea and an agreeable 
headline. But such methods are rather drab advertising sub- 
jects made into intenselv interesting "reader copy." 


It is by no means always necessary to picture the thing 
advertised. Although it would appear that one of the first 
principles of a thoroughly practical commercial picture is to 
reproduce the product, there can be no fixed rule in this regard, 
nor should there be, in view of the continuous stream of cam- 
paigns which the public is expected to digest. 

The service performed by a product is as illuminative as any 
picture of it. Then again, there are serious business reasons 
why no definite article can be represented. There are several 
imposing campaigns on the subject of automobile bodies. Page 
space is used, and the illustrations are costly and beautiful, but no 
car is ever shown. The entire atmosphere of these campaigns is 
created by inference. Discrimination is woven into attractive 
compositions, which, while suggesting that people are just going 
somewhere in automobiles or are coming from them, but the 
manufacturer's do not find it necessary to picture any one 
machine. Because he makes bodies for many different cars, it 
would be somewhat unjust to the others to select any one and. 
feature it in an illustration. 

A concrete example is selected from the year's advertising 
schedule of Fisher Bodies: Set into an elaborate and artis- 
tic decorative border, which is nicely calculated to suggest 
*' class atmosphere," is an illustration of a charming young woman 
on horseback. Her companion is leading up another horse, 
and the faint hint of a grandstand in the background indicates 
that it is an exhibition affair at some exclusive driving and riding 
club. There is no automobile in sight. That such persons would 
attend the show in their cars coming from long distances is under- 
stood. But the advertiser desires, first and foremost, to surround 
his product and its name with a cloak of aristocracy. The reader 
inevitably receives the impression that Fisher bodies are the 
choice of those who know and who are always accustomed to 
the very best, 









Fig. 114. 

Upper Left. — Someone is expected. There is excitoniont in the air, as .1 skil- 
fully portrayed scene is featured in a story roquiriiifz; no view of a motor car. 

Upper Right. — Somewhere, out of the picture, standing patiently at a farmhouse 
door, is the automobile which brought the doctor to the home during an emer- 

Lower Left. — There was no real need to scatter spectacles and eyeglasses all 
over this page, in order to deliver the advertiser's message. A biblical phrase: 
"0 foolish people, that have eyes and see not," serves as text 

Lower Rioftl. — A fair share of the now famous Fisher Hodies illustrations have 
studiously avoided .showing a motor car and therefore the product manufactured. 
Yet they suffer not at all, conimcrcially, for the campaign has succeeded in link- 
ing the name with class atmosphere, and the pedigreed user. 


A campaign in behalf of the Dodge autniobile attracted 
unusual attention, because, almost for the first time in the history 
of advertising a product of this kind, the car itself was seldom 
shown. Something, however, in every human interest picture 
automatically made the reader think in terms of the car. An 
old-fashioned home parlor, such as is in the average rural house 
in the farming area, suggests the coming of guests. 

A dainty old lady stands with plate in hand looking from the 
window. An old man, his face all smiles, is just in the act of 
pushing a baby's high chair up to the partly set table. 

But there is not a word in the text of the advertisement regard- 
ing his intensely human and sentimental illustration. The copy 
man proceeds in a thoroughly business-like fashion to describe 
why the Dodge car gives dependable service. He insists that 
the picture is a complete unit in itself. It requires no explana- 
tion. The story is all there- — a story of the loved ones of the 
younger generation who are motoring out to the farm for a week- 
end, in a car that will surely arrive on time, with never a mishap. 

This type of illustration which shows the product by infer- 
ence only has become popular because it makes it possible for an 
advertiser to swing widely away from the expected. It admits 
of a new campaign idea. And this of course is periodically 

Looking back over the advertising years of The American 
Radiator Company, it would be possible to find thousands of 
illustrations in which the product dominated absolutely. More 
recently, the experiment was tried of omitting radiators and 
boilers, intermittently, where copy ideas made it allowable. 
Yet there has been no lack of selling sense and no let down in 
responsibilities of any campaign to the cash drawer. 

Two instances may be cited to show the method employed and 
to demonstrate just how picture and text must work in perfect 

An illustration shows a dinner table scene, with father, mother, 
and two children gathered about, doing their best to eat the meal. 
Their expressions indicate that it is unpalatable. The small 
boy is frowning; the father holds his napkin to his mouth. There 
is a tiny insert of the wife throwing this food away. There is 
no radiator, or boiler in sight. 

The copy writer says: "Suppose your cook stove spoiled one- 
third of your food!" 



It is a daFi'ng and startling statement, and one well calculated 
to compel the reader to continue: 

You wouldn't hesitate to get rid of it. The cost of the waste food 
would soon equal the cost of a good stove. Keeping the old one would 
be short-sighted economy. 

Yet you may be making a mistake in your cellar which you could not 
make in your kitchen. For if you have an old-fashioned heater, it is 

Fig. 115. 

Upper. — The advertiser, through research, found that a certain famous old 
piece of artillery, dating back to 1489 was still in perfect condition because of the 
fact that it was made of wrought iron. Is this picture not better and more 
interesting than a reproduction of some piping? 

Left. — Two American Radiator compositions in which the product itself plays 
no part in the main illustration. The copy idea is sufficiently picturesque and 
important to make up for its absence. 

Right. — No actual picture of the product here but the illustration most 
assuredly causes the reader to think in terms of heating plants. 

probably wasting at least one-third of your coal. Coal is high; a one- 
third saving is quite an item; over a period of years it would pay for a 
modern boiler several times. 


The advertiser has told a compelling story illustrated with 
the type of picture which attracts the greatest number; and no 
actual product has been introduced. 

An article is advertised by showing a gloomy cellar with a 
pile of coal reaching to the ceiling, and spreading out in every 
direction. A sign thrust into it says that here are 750 tons of 
coal. A small, startled man, shovel in hand, stands looking up 
aghast at this immense and impressive sight. The headline 
explains everything: "The coal he shoveled in 30 years — a true 
bedtime story for Fathers." 

There follows a shrewd narrative, taken from real life, of a 
man in Evanstown, Illinois, who did some figuring, which inspired 
the picture described. The illustration is in every sense a wise 
and permissible advertising argument in behalf of American 
radiators, despite the fact that the product itself is not reproduced. 

A national advertiser of hosiery deliberately selected a slogan 
which would permit him to get away from the sameness of the 
inevitable hosiery illustration. This phrase was: "You just 
know she wears them," and it has become a popular saying 
everywhere. The embellishment of the campaign sought not to 
disclose stockings at all. 

A vigorous campaign for General Motors eliminated the pictur- 
izing of cars or power plants. The advertising was none the 
less effective; in fact, it has been generally conceded that the 
campaign has been phenomenally successful. 

A characteristic picture is of a country physician who has just 
arrived and is bending over a sick child. An anxious mother, 
with the light of fear in her eyes, glances across at the doctor. 
Will he have come in time to save the little life. The artist 
hints that this will be the case. But what has this to do with 
General Motors, motor cars, and automobile engines? Every- 
thing. For it is brought out that before the coming of depend- 
able motor cars, country doctors were compelled to travel 
behind a slow-going horse, in a buggy, which faced the night 
roads with but poor results. Hours and hours were required to 
traverse short distances and people who lived on farms and other 
remote places were entirely dependent, in times of emergency, 
upon just such crude modes of travel. The country doctor often 
arrived too late. But now, with the motor car, all that has been 
changed. The long distances and the rough roads hold no terrors. 
It is a really magnificent indirect appeal, and more ruggedly 


impressive because it is not illustrated conventionally with a 
picture of a doctor in an automobile. 

An idea connected with a product, a comparison, or a parallel 
may be more important, as illustrative material, than the prod- 
uct itself, particularly if it happens that the product is like a 
hundred others or is not interesting or unusual to the eye. 

Piping might come under this classification, with no audience 
waiting hungrily for a message on the subject. An audience 
would, however, find interest in a dominant illustration of a 
wonderful old cannon, facing out over plains and hills, from its 
position in a crumbling fortress. This is '' Mons Meg," a monster 
gun named after Queen Margaret, of Scotland. It received its 
baptism of fire during the siege of Dumbarton in 1489. The 
advertiser saj^s of it, as justification for such an unusual picture 
in an advertisement for piping: 

This ancient piece of artillery, made of wrought-iron bars, bound like 
a barrel with hoops of the same material, may be seen today at Edin- 
burgh Castle. Unprotected by grease or paint, it has braved all 
weathers for four hundred years, and its surface is hardly pitted. 
Remarkable? Not when j^ou remember that it is made of wrought iron. 

There is a smaller scene of a great modern building, in which 
wrought-iron piping has been used throughout. The product 
itself is not pictured and is not missed, because the story is 

Because advertising art is so interlocked with the text which 
accompanies it, the two must be mentioned in any discussion of 
the relative merits of different methods. Thus this message 
concerning Wellsworth products (optical goods) automatically 
visualizes the illustration used: 

Out of the mists of the past flashes the warning: "0 foolish people, 
that have eyes and see not." More than twenty-five centuries have 
rolled by since Jeremiah, on a hillside in Judea, uttered this searching 
phrase. Its meaning, of course, was a spiritual one; yet maj' we not apply 
these words to a condition which exists today? What could better 
describe the unconscious victims of our own age of cj'cstrain, with its fine 
print books, glaring artificial lights, and flickering motion pictures. 

The headline reads: "Was Jeremiah speaking to you?" The 
illustration is a masterfully conceived view of the venerable 
Jeremiah, on the hillside, speaking to the multitudes at his feet. 
Yet there is no reproduction of optical goods. 


The fact that a certain brand of coffee was taken, in bulk, by a 
noted explorer and adventurer, on his notable cruise around 
the world, is of greater news and advertising moment than any 
coffee pot brand of picture or prosaic after-dinner composition. 
The picturesque and romantic outlines of a sturdy three-masted 
schooner invites the imagination to do the rest. If the owner and 
the captain and his crew preferred this coffee to all others, it 
would necessarily be the coffee for the average person's table. 

Suggesting the picture of the product or of its service, by infer- 
ence only, has given to advertising many of its most interesting 


There was, at one time, a prejudice against what is known as 
the "negative" iUustration. This prejudice has, to a consider- 
able extent, disappeared, for it is more generally acknowledged 
that advertising should be instructive, and that certain products 
have as their sole reason for existence a safeguarding of human 
life, or a check on carelessness. The chief objection to negative 
advertising was that it presented disagreeable, alarming, and 
sometimes rather repulsive suggestions, and that, in consequence 
of this, certain lines of business and certain products were pre- 
sented in a damaging light. 

The manufacturer of tire chains for automobiles, used pictures 
of accidents, of death, of extreme peril, occasioned by laxity, when 
motor cars skidded under conditions which were favorable to 
such perils of the open road. Thousands of letters of protest 
were received by this manufacturer. But the majority of them 
came from advertising men and students of advertising who had 
as yet failed to investigate the psychology of this type of appeal. 

It was pointed out that the illustration of horror would keep 
people from buying cars. It was advertising which would prove 
bad for business. It brought up mental dramas opposed to the 
regular flow of sales. If advertising could not be cheerful and 
altogether optimistic, it should not be used. There was enough 
of the unpleasant in the world, without recourse to scenes of 
danger and of accident. 

So firmly entrenched was this theory that debates were staged 
in many advertising journals, and correspondents demanded that 
the practice cease. It would be as consistent to ask plays to 
reflect only the Pollyanna atmosphere, and books forever to 
preach the doctrine of Little Rollo. There are more negative 
campaigns than ever and they are more strenously urged. The 
sale of automobiles was contaminated in no way by the adver- 
tising of the safety chain manufacturer, who truthfully pictured 
and described what might take place if certain wise precautions 



were not taken. Why dodge issues which are obvious and 
uncontrovertible ? 

But it must be admitted that negative ilhistrations and nega- 
tive copy should be avoided where they do not, from every stand- 
point, harmonize with the logical objective of the product. It 
should not be dragged in for no better reason than to provide 
sensational and melodramatic interest. 

Many advertised products have no excuse for negative adver- 
tising. That advertising, wherever possible, should reflect the 
happier, constructive, educational, and pleasing echoes of life 
and of service is not to be questioned. People are not drawn 
to that which is unpleasant. Lecturing and sermonizing repels, 
if either are not firmly grounded in everyday human experi- 
ence. There must be an unusually valid reason to frighten a 
prospect into doing something. The purposes of this chapter 
will doubtless be best served by giving some concrete instances 
of the quite proper use of the negative appeal. 

An advertiser, incidentally, may ask himself certain pointed 
questions which prove up the problem. Some of these are: 

Will my product, if used, prevent serious accidents ? 

Will my product, under certain circumstances, save life, by the service it 

Is my product one which will safeguard the individual from the fruits of 
his own folly or negligence? 

Will what I say, in a negative mood, work for a more thoughtful consider- 
ation of danger and what leads up to it? 

Is my product one which does its service in the direct presence of scenes of 
danger and alarm? 

If my product is not used, is it logical to assume that an individual may be 
liable to accident? 

It has come to pass that any number of products are now manu- 
factured which are interrelated with fire prevention, the avoidance 
of unnecessary risks, even the positive guarantee of protection 
from certain pitfalls of human peril. For advertisers in this 
classification to preach only the affirmative would represent an 
unfair and an illogical handicap. Their most virile line of attack 
is opposition to neglect, and their most significant weapon is 
reminding the negligent of the thing which they are thoughtlessly 

Today that a vast number of persons must be startled into 
doing what is right and wise and best calls for the extraordinary 
appeal. Persons are impervious to moderate arguments. They 



are responsive only to the sharp checkrein of dramatic warning. 
They act only when they are made to see what may happen to 
them. The railroads of the country are fully aware of this. 
The only effective mediums of education, where automobilists 
and road crossings are concerned, for example, have been caustic, 
unrelenting, and lurid with menace. Logic and quiet warning 
was tried first, and found to be unavailing. 

A conspicuously successful series, long continued and based 
almost entirely upon the vigorously negative in illustration, has 

Fig. 116. — The commercial phases of a product told in an uncommercial spirit 
gives greatly added zest to an advertising campaign. Picturing familiar inci- 
dents, where the reader unconsciously inlays a part, is powerful sales doctrine. 
But they are effective only when skilfully and truthfully portrayed. 

been conducted in behalf of a storage battery for automobiles. 
This advertiser contends, and not without justification, that 
because the battery is the life of the car, regulating not only its 
running but also its starting, emergencies are apt to arise which 
mean life or death. But in order to further validate this, the 
advertisements were prepared from and inspired by experiences, 
written by motorists. 

A characteristic illustration portrays a railroad crossing. An 
automobile has been stalled on the tracks. A train is rapidly 
approaching and will smash the car to bits in another second. 
A man is shown helping his wife from the front seat. It is a 


tense, terrif^ang situation, and the picture so successfully rendered, 
that it leaves the pulse quickened and the blood chill. 
Beneath this picture the following text is run : 

... I heard the whistle of a train. In an effort to spurt the car 
forward I stalled the engine and the car stopped on the tracks. The 
train was coming rapidly, shrieking violent warning. I left the engine in 
high gear and stepped on the starter. But my battery failed. We 
escaped, but the car was smashed to smithereens! 

This may not be a common accident, but it is one which might 
easily happen to any motorist. Similar chronicles appear 
almost daily in the public press. 

Also based on fact and vouched for by the correspondent is 
the following dramatic incident: 

With our old battery gone "West" — a twelve-foot wall of water thun- 
dering down on us — we left the car and ran for our lives. Our battery 
was gone ; therefore our car was gone. 

There could be no more stirring picture than the one which 
accompanied this text, yet it was 100 per cent negative. A 
narrow gorge between two high walls of ragged granite and clay, 
up which it would be difficult to clamber. The driver, without 
being conscious of it, had been traveling up a dry river bed in the 
west Texas territory. But the flood waters from surrounding 
mountains had broken loose and were sluicing down the make-shift 
highway. The flood could be seen in the distance, racing nearer 
and carrying boulders and trees on its angry breast. A mother 
and child were frantically endeavoring to climb out of harm's 
way up the steep bank. The father, having failed to crank the 
car, sees that seconds will decide his own fate and the fate of his 
family. Although the picture is negative, through and through, it 
is constructively and sanely so. The entire series, all constructed 
along the same general lines, is a conscientious effort to protect 
people from their own short-sightedness and neglect. Such 
negative advertising must be looked upon as ethical and legitimate. 
A life insurance company in a series, frankly sets out to picture 
accident, death, or sudden catastrophe. Its arguments are cut 
from the negative bolt. Stirring action, feverish anxiety and 
the throb and beat of daily tragedy, run rampant through copy 
and illustrations. An excited citizen rushes to the nearest 
policeman. A crowd is gathering. And the text reads: 

Quick! — an automobile accident! Years of careful driving. . . A 
growing sense of immunity from loss . . . then it happened. "Quick! 



an automobile accident!" Tragedy is in that frenzied cry, for somebody 
is badly hurt. Then a quick run to the hospital . . . doctors . . . 
nurses . . . weeks of suffering . . . and a suit for damage! 

Fig. 117. — Three characteristic illustrations for The Aetna Iiisurannc Com- 
pany, all highly negative, all swift, stirring in action, and all presenting the 
uni)lcasant side of life. But their mission is to compel thoughtfulness and to 
stir people out of lethargy. 

Such catastrophies the public has seen and is seeing every 
day. There is no exaggeration. People know their truth and 
finally admit the advertising logic which prompts a frank state- 
ment of fact and a pica for more common sense. There is a 



wholesome tendency, in this generation, to face issues bravely 
and without petty covering of disagreeable facts. Fighting is 
done in the open. Results are more certain when gloves are 
removed and the job tackled bare-fisted. The application of 
these principles to advertising is as permissible as it is beneficial. 
To a lesser degree, the same forces have made the people want 
better furniture, better homes, and better food. In the back- 
ground of almost every advertising campaign, there is a subtle 

Fig. 118. 

Upper. — Legitimately negative. The little housewife is completely worn out 
and the advertiser argues that this is unnecessary. She could save herself by 
using better household methods. It is a scene which all women will sympathet- 
ically recall. 

Lower. — Negative in every line, but validated by the story the advertiser is 
desirous of telling. A wrong is to be corrected; a common condition relieved — 
weary feet. 

hint at the negative, in one form or another. Progress is stabi- 
lized and advertising is bent on creating either fear or unrest, 
discontent or alarm. 

Needless to say, because of its inherent ingredients, the nega- 
tive illustration has the strongest kind of appeal. Such illus- 
trations are vibrant with action. They contain the quality of 
suspense. They leave the prospect questioning himself. They 
foster personal moralizing and reasoning. They dig deep and 



sway emotions. And in many instances, they are constructed 
around such highly melodramatic scenarios or picture plots 
that they are irresistible to even the most indifferent reader. 
Melodrama has always boasted this power and this allurement. 
How futile it would be to tax advertisers of certain products 
with the extreme rule of avoiding the negative. Americans 
have come to have the cleanest teeth in the world in part because 
the public has been literally frightened by the perils of pyorrhea 
and other diseases of the gums and teeth, into a morning and 
evening measure of protection. One of the most widely adver- 


on'l be quarantined lo city pavings 



Fig. 119. 

Left. — Bad roads used throughout a connected series, as seen by any motorist 
as he drives. Negative, surely, but the reader is reminded that shock absorbers 
minimize the effects of such rough going. 

Riff fit.— The idea of decay made into an unobjectionable allegory; a once 
fine home disintegrating from neglect. 

tised soaps with hygienic properties made little or no progress 
with its campaigns until it began to picture the menace of the 
ever-present germ. True, the picture of a man, hand in the 
strap of a street car, surrounded by uncouth, unclean persons, 
does not make a pleasant illustration, but it certainly does impel 
a father to think twice on the subject of the disease germs on 
his hands he may be carrying home to his wife and children. 
Why not use a soap to clean them thoroughly? 



Is a manufacturer of fire-fighting apparatus not permitted to 
show pictures of fire and the liorrors of it? 

Brake lining for automobiles is an admirable example of the 
type of product which depends upon the negative appeal. Life 
actually does hang on a brake. Therefore a prominent institu- 
tion depends to a large degree upon negative pictures of unex- 
pected collisions, bad temper, ruined vehicles, and danger to 
life and limb. 

And this is sane copy, legitimate copy, from which to draw the 
meat of such illustrations: 

lappened ! 

!-H ■, 

"I have thie worst luck 
with tires!" 

Fig. 120. 

Left. — A wrecked car — disaster, property loss and the general atmosphere of 
serious accident, as a burning car rolls down hill. It is a scene rather common 
to American roads. Pyrene, an automobile fire-extinguisher, has a perfect right 
to use such pictorial ammunition as this. 

Right. — Nothing very pleasant in this illustration — -suggestion of tire trouble, 
expense and delay, with the motorist grumbling over his ill-luck. It is a reminder 
that it is his own fault. Buy a tire gauge and know the pressure in the shoe. 

Look over your morning paper. There you get only the serious 
accidents, involving life and limb, in one locality. Think of all the 
"might have been serious" smashes for the whole country! One a 
minute is a conservative estimate. 

A maker of shock absorbers for motor cars advertised "Bad 
Roads" for a year. He pictured bad roads in a large, dominant 


way with all their ruts, boulders, muddy bog holes, hidden 
obstructions, detours, and dangers. 

Yesterday, many would have contended that this was a bad 
idea. It might turn people away from motoring. Nonsense! 
Just so long as negative advertising is truthful, normal, and within 
the bounds of reason, there need be no fear. People know there 
are bad roads. A shock absorber is a solution. And the series 
of illustrations merely presented a truthful picture of what all 
motorists have seen at one time or another. 

Will there be less automobile tires sold because the advertiser 
of a tire gage uses an illustration of a despondent automobilist 
watching a garage man put on a new tire, with the headline; 
"I have the worst luck with tires!" The illustration merely 
points out that tires suffer from over or underpressure of infla- 
tion. The negative picture, in advertising, can be made one of 
the most effective of human correctives aside from its service to 
the product it exploits and amplifies. 


There are times when an advertisement may take on all the 
characteristic art qualities and technique of poster influence. 
Such displays, because of their simple, direct, and uncluttered 
layout, plus brevity of message, are virtually outdoor displays. 
This similarity is strengthened when two or more colors can be 
employed. Certain advertisers, working on the assumption 
that the volume of advertising prohibits individual 100 per 
cent assimilation strategically adopt messages which can be 
absorbed at a glance. 

The marked improvement in outdoor posters has undeniably 
given impetus to miniature posters for magazine and newspaper 
use, and "those who run may read," indoors as well as out. The 
poster advertisement must possess the following points: 

Bold display of the name. 

Flat, unshaded areas of color or black and white tone. 

Art treatment without fuss and furbelows. 

Exceedingly simple compositions. 

The least number of words as to text. 

Uninvolved figure or still-life ideas. 

Simplicity in handling throughout. 

Such advertisements can be seen and read at a considerable 
distance. If, for example, someone is holding up a magazine 
at one end of a common carrier, the advertisement is decipher- 
able in its essential features, from the opposite end of the car. 

It appears to be characteristic of their use that poster adver- 
tisements are employed as a breathing space between intensely 
descriptive campaigns which are, of necessity, of the "reason 
why" type, and therefore somewhat complex. They are diplo- 
matic pauses, made during the dignified course of a series which 
is textually extended. Advertisers deliberately experiment to 
the extent of employing much reading matter and numerous 
illustrations, one year, and the most simple poster displays the 
year following. They do it also for the sake of variety. 




The luxury of such campaigns is not, as a rule, applicable to 
newcomers in the advertising field. When a product, its story, 
and its manufacturer have all been firmly established in public 
consciousness, then the poster series is most effective and less 
of an experiment The character of the article may often regu- 
late the extent to which this principle may be applied including 
products which do not require prolific descriptions and major 
and minor illustrations. Their story is quickly told and in 
simple terms. 

Fig. 121. — Two strong colors, red and black with variations, were employed 
in these originals, page size. They attempted no more than to get across one 
dominant idea and a name. The art spirit is in the poster school throughout. 

It was discovered, in the case of Columbia dry batteries, that, 
for several years, the spirit of poster technique would be superior 
to verbose analysis and technically complex pictures. The 
utilitarian uses of a dry battery required no dissertation. Nor 
could even the most gifted and imaginative writer long continue 
to build imposing word structures for it. But there were ele- 
ments which properly deserved to occupy the attention of the 

These points summed up as follows: 

A dominating display of the name Columbia. 

Bold pictorial effects to impress both consumer and dealer. 



Art of a character which would automatically glorify a rather modest 

The use of a second color as a practical advertising asset. (The Columbia 
Batteries carry a distinguishing red label.) 

Advertising art gaged to make a deep impression on the memory. 

Displays which would in no respect resemble any other campaign for a 
like product. 

The serialized campaign, poster style, wherein one use of tlie batteries at 
a time could be strategically featured. 

Fig. 122. — A simple picture, done in flat color tones, and with very little reading 
matter, as the composite magazine page. The poster spirit throughout. The 
originals were in two colors and therefore far more effective than here shown. 

This program operated admirably for the very reasons which 
originally inspired it, and the last unit mentioned above is a 
significant one: no attempt was made to tell more than a single 
story of one use. But when the campaign had run its course, 
each battery use had been covered, without complication and 
without distractions. 

If the subject of dry cells as related to the operation of bells 
and buzzers were made the theme of a poster page, the artist 
narrowed his pictorial horizon to a businessman pressing a button 
on his desk, or to a pleasingly composed study of a Colonial 
doorway, as a child, on tiptoes, reached toward the bell. If 
the use of the battery in connection with tractors became the 
basic appeal of a design, only the farm implement and sufficient 


atmosphere to register its environment found way to paper. 
Of text, there was invariably little, although words were chosen 
with such patient care that their brevity made swift, brief 
phrases eloquent. 

Something in the distinctive and the related character of such 
a series presented at regular intervals; in the powerful name plate 
display and the vivid contrasts of red and black, red and dark 
blue, handled in flat masses; in the assurance and brutal finality 
of the individual advertisements left an impression, not of any 
single message, but of a broad campaign, as insistent as it was 
striking. Dealers in batteries and dry cells were not slow to clip 
these poster pages from magazines and put them to work in their 
windows, and at the climax of each series, after six pages had been 
run, the advertiser summarized the campaign in devoting a 
page to the six reproductions in reduced size. 

In every advertising campaign there appears to be some one 
popular note which, for unexpected and unforeseen reasons, 
pleases the popular fancy. It may be some apparently insig- 
nificant detail, with embedded advertising strength. Years 
ago, for instance, in the drawing of illustrations for magazine 
and newspaper campaigns for Perfection oil heaters, an artist 
happened to place a contented tabby cat near the heater. This 
was not the most important element of the picture; it was an 
incidental. There were figures, accessories, and human interest 
in the same composition. But the picture of the purring kitten 
appealed to the public and was favorably commented upon 
everywhere. Here was clever visualization of warmth and of 
comfort. And as the consciousness of its worth became 
impressed on the advertiser, he made it a unit in almost every 
advertising illustration, until it grew to the proportions of an 
unofficial trade mark. 

What was more natural, then, for this theme to be raised to 
the dignity of a dominating note, complete in itself? And the 
next step was a poster page, of heater and cat, imcluttered by 
any other accessory. The advertiser was capitalizing a popular 
idea in the simplest form imaginable, the poster. 

In the advertising of an oil used for shortening, decorative 
edibles, because of constant repetition in a poster art technique, 
became a characteristic atmosphere of extensive campaigns, year 
after year. Berries and fruits, which enter into the making of 
such pastries, were also given room in the picture. From repre- 



sentations in black and white, the idea suddenly became a series 
of highly artistic posters, which surrounded the product with 
effective and altogether pleasing atmosphere. 

Fig. 123. — Four simple and compelling examples of the poster spirit in page- 
space advertising, with the illustrative theme to the fore. 

The ramifications in this class are many. In some instances, 
a poster within a poster is used, that an advertising trade mark or 
an advertising character may be given a new lease of life and 


possess an invigorated appeal to the jaded public. While every- 
one might be familiar with the "Time to re-tire" pajama boy, so 
long used in connection with Fisk automobile tires, the unvary- 
ing repetition of the same theme might well grow to be an old 
story to its market and lose a proportionate amount of its potency 
as an illustrative feature. 

By the comparatively simple expedient of placing a poster 
within a poster, the original trade mark, which always possessed 

Fig. 124. — This page was run in full color, and its spirit throughout was postery. 

poster characteristics, was rejuvenated. The poster or painted 
sign of the trade mark figure was utilized as one unit in a human 
interest design. Far out on the desert, the "Time to re-tire" 
poster has been nailed to a post. A pioneer of the region, on his 
journey across trackless miles, his burro patiently standing at 
his side, has stopped to study the quaint poster. And the sole 
reading message is the advertising phrase, accompanied by the 
name of the company and its address. 



The unwritten story, suggested by inference, is plain. Where- 
ever one may go, to whatever remote outposts of civiUzation, 
there the Fisk tire is known. 

Advertisers of clothing for men have long employed the poster 
form and technique in advertising. The addition of a second 
color in publications which can carry it, heightens the effect. 
These poster campaigns, it should be emphasized, are part of a 
carefully conceived advertising plan; they do not fulfil every 
obHgation of a publicity campaign, long continued. The com- 

You have 

them in 


~piJt them 

on your Car 

Buj) them - 
the kit \ 

Some things Columbias do E D I S O N ^ 



Dry Batteries 



Fig. 125. — The Columbia display undertakes to reproduce the pages for the 
previous six advertisements. And as done in two colors, in much larger space, 
the result was exceptionally pleasing. The Mazda page is as much a poster as 
if planned for the dealer's window. 

pany may for many months insistently stress tailoring details, 
explanatory copy, selling logic, and diagramatic or style 
illustration. Then comes the lighter note for the relief it affords 
to dealers and customers. 

While the more legitimate poster advertisement observes the 
rudimentary technique, as to art and lettering — and there is a 
most emphatic atmosphere — it is by no means compulsory to 
adhere to these familiar forms. There was a time when a poster 
meant definite technique. This is no longer true and the advent 
into advertising art of a very much higher grade of professional 
talent has brought about the latitude. 


The actual technique of the artist is not hmited today; his 
characteristic style may range from fiat, broad masses to the most 
detailed and polished handling. Quality is the aim rather than a 
formal and unyielding observance of any one poster medium. 

There is less leeway in other respects; an advertisement which 
is filled with reading matter, numerous subheads, and accessory 
illustrations may lay no claim to poster honors. Lettering 
should be bold, simple, and with pronounced character. Typog- 
raphy seems strangely out of place. The firm name, the name 
of the product, and a spirited phrase should suffice as to text. 
And there must prevail an atmosphere which is not crowded. 

A poster advertisement may feature still life or figures, an 
attractive showing of the package or of product, or wholly hand- 
lettered text. But a confused composition made up of all of 
these ingredients is not permissible. 

A magazine which contains hundreds of pages of advertising, 
largely complex in its makeup, is an ideal setting for the simplified 
poster display which assumes to do no more, for the time being, 
that to keep a trade name vividly before the public and the 
dealer, and to deliver a single and significant selling argument. 

If posters along the public highways are a contributory force 
in advertising and effective in the accomplishment of a specific 
objective, then it may be said that miniature posters in periodicals 
are equally serviceable and legitimate, and to a reasonable degree 
attain the same result. 


There will always be a friendly controversy between advertisers 
who believe that showing the product persistently and in as 
large size as possible is of greater importance than human 
interest illustrations built around it. 

Is atmosphere of more substantial selling value than the some- 
times unadorned presentation of the thing advertised? Should 
commercial illustrations seek beauty, charm, melodramatic 
action, or be content with such displays as will be accorded a 
product in a shop, on a counter, or in a window? The answer 
is really one which is so often overlooked in any critical discus- 
sion of a single advertisement or a connected campaign. 

Once an advertising campaign has gotten under headway, 
its form may constantly change pictorially. Nothing in the 
analysis of markets and products justifies the behef that the 
physical attributes of advertising should find a given atmosphere, 
or form, and remain inflexible. It is dangerous and ill-advised, 
therefore, to single out one display or one series and to judge it 
without full knowledge of what has gone before and what is no 
doubt scheduled to follow. 

One of the most common faults in a consideration of adver- 
tising is thus to concentrate upon one unit. The veteran who 
has been through the various stages in the progress of a cam- 
paign suffers no delusions in this respect and is more tolerant. 
Advertising, to him, is a coat of many colors, and its character 
is constantly changing to fit the by no means fixed conditions 
of markets, popular purchasing moods, commercial aspects 
of seasons, and the gradual development of a manufacturing insti- 
tution in its relation to the advertising. 

When the product is new and its advertising is at its inception, 
illustrations are apt to concentrate upon a showing of the article 
itself, with little else. To familiarize the public, speedily, 
with the appearance of this article and with its distinctive fea- 
tures is one of the early obligations of a campaign. 



There has never been what may be looked upon as a completely 
effective plan of introducing that last link in the advertising 
chain, namely, a final contact at the point where the consumer 
goes in to make the purchase. There are numerous devices, 
many of which are important and interesting but none which 
make the circuit quite complete. Store cards, counter cards, 
window displays, mechanical signs, and dealer literature serve 
an invaluable service. The man behind the counter seems to 
be the arbiter. He may be a "living advertisement" for any 
product he wishes to put forward. 

Products which are an open exhibit are in themselves adver- 
tisements, in proportion to the public's visual familiarity with 
them. Influenced by advertising, the consumer sees the prod- 
uct, perhaps points to it, designates it by name, and demands 
it. The advertising plainly has been read and a desire to pur- 
chase engendered, and, when the product makes its appearance 
in public display, the circuit comes as near being made complete 
as possible. 

In a desire to achieve this, an advertiser of canned goods, 
putting out an extensive line, all bearing a similar label of dis- 
tinctive design and color scheme, has for many years persistently 
followed a definite policy in his advertising. Contracts have 
been made with magazines which assure the placing of the adver- 
tising always in the same position. This means that it settles down 
to billboard prominence. The public has grown to look for the 
company's advertising in a certain place every week, every month. 

In analyzing the plan, reproduction of the can, in exact 
colorings, becomes fixed idea Number Two. Whatever else there 
may be on a page, the container, exact size or larger, is the 
dominant feature. It is easily conceivable that after years of 
such advertising, the public will have come to know the can. 
The advertiser once said: "Our advertising is little more than a 
standardized shelf for our goods." 

Intermittently, through years of campaigning, there should 
be, unquestionably, a recurrent adaption of this idea. Institu- 
tional themes appear and, after they have run their course, 
give way to rugged and frankly commercial showings of the goods 
to the exclusion of everything else. It is the business instinct 
asserting itself. For, although the artistic in advertising has 
received every encouragement, the click of the cash register 
must occasionally echo through all advertising pages. 


In the pioneer days of advertising, showing the goods meant 
no attempt at artistry. Wood cuts of the product were crudely 
placed, and the appeal was far less positive than under the pres- 
ent regime. It has been found possible to combine a reasonable 
amount of atmosphere with the commerical. To some extent, 
this has been brought about by new and artistic methods of 
bringing the inanimate product to life. The artist and the 
retoucher seem to be able to supply the most homely and unim- 
aginative object with visual allurement. 

A photographed automobile tire might be commonplace 
enough; but the same photograph can be retouched, given certain 
attractive hghting effects, and its artistic merit is unquestioned. 
Glorifying he Inanimate has been made a chapter in this book 
because of its close relation with the subject now presented. 

If lighting and photography can not make the article live, 
the original illustration follows. The artist handles these drab 
objects as might a portrait painter as he poses and interprets his 
living model. Who would suppose that the picture of a piece of 
machinery could be made artistically attractive to any save the 
individual who "loves" machinery? Yet it is being done. A 
non-technical pubHc has been made to take an interest in mech- 
anisms of all kinds through the subtle artifices of the commer- 
cial artist who uncovers beauty in everything, once he sets 
himself to the task. 

For one entire year, a manufacturer of automobiles used only 
unembellished reproductions of these power plants and the 
campaign was singularly alluring to a class which heretofore had 
not bothered itself with such matters. The drawings — for they 
were original wash illustrations and not retouched photographs — 
were fascinating, due to lighting, to subduing of certain non- 
essential parts, and to elaborating. Glittering pin points of 
emphasis, here and there, made cold metal throb with life. Light 
displays its true potency in illustrations of this character. 

During a conference in a large meat-packing institution, the 
salesmanager of the company said to an artist, who had been 
called into conference: 

I am willing to wager that you can't make a side of ham or of bacon 
pictorially interesting. The subject does not permit of it. Our cover- 
ings are simple and crude. This product we sell does not permit of 
your so-called "artistic visualization." But I am willing to concede 
that there is more salesmanship in the reproduction of a ham or a bacon, 



for a time, at least, than in the most elaborate human interest picture of 
a brcalvfast table scene or any of the rather conventional themes com- 
monly employed for an article of this character. We are disconcerted 
by the phj^iical appearance of the very thing \vc sell. It isn't attractive 
in a picture. 

The packaged product was laid on a piece of black velvet; 
one side of the studio was darkened; and a strong light played 
from the opposite side. An electric globe shot a top light from 

If the huinl)le package of ham had been a person of note posing 
for his oil portrait, the task could not have been approached more 

Fig. 126. — These magazine pages, in every instance, feature tlxe product, with 
few accessories. The advertiser seeks to familiarize his pubUc with the actual 
goods. Color, in one or two cases, was of real assistance. 

conscientiously nor more seriously. When the completed canvas 
was delivered, the skeptical committee gasped. An inartistic 
thing had been given real beauty. The artist had won the wager. 

It was not until similar treatment was accorded automboile 
engines and special parts that advertisers of these subjects 
dared to feature them as the main illustrative theme because of 
the acknowledged public indifference to things mechanical. An 
advertiser today may devote almost an entire magazine page to 
the thing he manufactures, and the larger it is shown, the better 
he is pleased. Whereas in the past such pages were crude and 
inartistic, they have become wholly in accord with other adver- 
tising in the same publication. 

To reproduce the product actual size has become one of the 
accepted features of every campaign. During a discussion of a 



campaign of some magnitude for shoes, an advertiser asked this 
question : 

But what can we do in the way of ilhistrating this scries? There is 
nothing new under the sun. Everything that can be done lias l)een 



Fig. 127. — In each one of these pages, shown in greatly reduced form here, 
the product dominates the layout. It has been made the lime-lighted feature of 
the illustration. But there is no suggestion of the catalog page, due to 
artistic and imaginative handling. 

done. I have made a collection of all shoe advertising over a period of 
three years, and apart from one or two artististic exceptions, the pic- 


torial similarity is disillusioning. Shoes arc shoos and imagination does 
not seem to find very much to jiut into a jjicture — just i)coi)lc wearing 
shoes, done in this way or that. It would scenx to me that one of our 
greatest problems will be to discover a distinctive idea for our own 
campaign. Can it be done? 

And again the obvious became the solution. In a study of 
past advertising for shoes, there was no single example of a 
campaign which had made a feature of a shoe actual size, 
reproduced in colors. 

A campaign was immediately started with this as the central 
illustrative plan. By combining fine photographs with effective 
retouching, shoes were placed on the pages in a bold and a convinc- 
ing manner, "large enough to step into," as a member of the 
committee exultantly remarked. Every detail of the workman- 
ship and of the texture of the leather was brought out. Tan 
shoes, when a second color was used, were amazingly realistic. 

As the campaign progressed and as all models, were shown, 
unaggressive background accessories were put to work, such 
as scenes in the sport field, at social functions, and of allied human 
interest bits. They were not bold enough in technique, however, 
to detract from the theme of the shoe. As these advertisements 
appeared, it was significant to find to what extent dealers were 
selling the shoe being featured during that period. The show 
counter method asserted itself at the point of consumer contact. 

When new models and new containers are brought out by the 
manufacturer, the jumbo-sizes illustration of the product is 
most valuable and serves one of its most useful purposes. 


There are, of necessity, two basic classifications in advertising 
art, the passive and the active; and both have their allotted 
usages. As a rule, however, regardless of the product, illus- 
trations which are animate carry the greatest appeal. This is a 
fundamental of life itself and of human nature. 

The one literary and dramatic form which does not seem to 
grow stale and which is ever sure of its receptive audience has its 
origin in melodrama. People are fond of excitement, of thrill, 
and of scenes which make the pulse beat a little faster. 

It is the one appeal which reaches all classes, under all cir- 
cumstances. In the average life there is a minimum of action, 
of adventure, and of spectacular incident. The most casual 
incident on the street, from the automobile smashup to the 
dropping of a safe from an upper story, will attract thousands. 
There is a lesson in this for advertisers and for creators of adver- 
tising illustrations. 

It will be interesting to select and follow through one example, 
demonstrating that the same product and the same campaign can 
be handled in two widely divergent pictorial moods. The subject 
is a storage battery for automobiles. While competitive cam- 
paigns illustrated their batteries, service stations, and the con- 
ventional themes common to the product, one advertiser saw 
dramatic possibilities in what happens when a car is suddenly 
made impotent through the giving out of the current which 
animates it? What is the inevitable result when a battery 
unexpectedly refuses to operate? Here was a valid advertising 
objective, to make car owners aware of the importance of a 

In every advertised product or proposition, some element of 
thrill can be found. The problem may appear painfully common- 
place and drab to the advertiser and the viewpoint of the outsider 
is essential. It is told of a manufacturer of belting supports 
that he despaired of finding drama. His trade paper and maga- 




Fig 128.— These remarkable pictures were drawn from real life and ar ual 
happenings. Their themes are peril, sudden danger, unnecessary risk of life. 
But who shall say that they are not legitimatized by their tendency to make 
people think in terms of guarding against just such hazards? 



zine advertising was doomed to dull repetitions of mechanical 
facts. But an enterprising advertising manager offered prizes 
for ideas for illustrations. Letters were sent out to factory 
superintendents, and soon, sufficient fact material was received to 
prepare an entire year of advertising. One of the stories was 
that of a great Kansas earthquake, of desolation spread broad- 
cast, and of a large plant swept into a jungle of twisted iron and 
steel. But one belt line remained true to its trust. A dummy 

Fig. 129. — A rather rommonplace and undramatic accident dramatically handled. 
The product advertised is floor varnish, impervious to moisture. 

engine was attached and the belts revolved. More picturesque 
perhaps was the letter which told of the delicacy of belt adjust- 
ment in another industrial plant ; birds, sparrows, flying through 
the open window of a factory, alighting on the belts, were 
sufficient impediment to stop the flow of power — a circumstance 
which proved that there was no lost motion and no waste genera- 
tive activity. These belts were adjusted to deliver just so much 
power — and they were doing that and no more. The system 
which held them in place was therefore perfect. 



The advantages of the melodramatic illustration may be 
summed up as follows: 

Action is an admittedly efficient attention compeller. 
People are intensely interested in unusual situations. 
The reader whose life is commonplace feeds on situations which arc 

Creating interest at the inception of the message is guaranteed. 

Fig. 130. — Melodrama in advertising illustration need not necessarily mean 
"blood and thunder" as this subtle pictures proves. The tug at the nerves and 
the heart are as much in evidence. The suggestion is advanced that mothers 
should always keep emergency medicines on hand. 

Possibilities in spirited copy arc numerous. 

Movement as opposed to passive subject material is paramount. 

Advertising takes the form of drama and as such with its slight exagger- 
ations, is always alluring. 

The presentation of pictures which suggest the peril of human neglect or 
foolhardiness acts as a vigorous lesson. 

Sentiment is a strong moving force, and the melodramatic in illustration 
is largely dependent upon sentiment. 



The majority of the more successful melodramatic pictures are 
founded on written scenarios, which inspire the artist to "catch 
the spirit" of a tense scene. The form is simple, direct, highly 
descriptive. In order to project such themes powerfully, the 
advertiser draws a verbal canvas, much as follows : 

For a Campaign on Automobile Motors. — Object of the illustration is 
to make people think more seriously of the part played by the automo- 
tive industry in our modern civilization. Tendency is to discredit the 
magnitude of the industry and to take too much for granted. People 

"Give me a ticket to 


Fig. 131. — A shrewdly thought-out and drawn illustration of the trusted 
employee who is making a quick get-away with stolen funds. Expressions of 
faces are born of melodrama. The idea was used by an Insurance company to 
visualize a copy-drama connected with Fidelity Bonds. 

look on motor cars as so much metal, leather, wood. Our task to 
humanize the product. Theme — the motor car meets an emergency and 
is practically indispensable. Characters: a mother, a small child, a 
country physician. Scene : bed room of a remote house in rural district. 
Time: late at night. A child has been taken seriously ill, professional 
care is all that can save its life. A doctor must arrive quickly. The 
home is obviously not in a village. It is miles away from traffic lines. 
But there is a telephone. It is used to summon doctor. Artist picks up 
thread of story just as this man arrives. Show little girl, in the throes 
of a high fever, in bed, unconscious. Mother nearby, the light of a great 
terror in her eyes. A kindly physician is seated at the beside, feeling 
pulse of the child. Great care should be taken to portray this rural 


doctor as the symbol of a type, kindly, patient, white-haired. Lighting 
of illustration so arranged as to add to dramatic qualities of the scene. 
Mother looking at him, rather than at child. She places absolute 
trust in his professional jurisdiction. Element of suspense established. 
The moment is one of tremendous significance. A httle life is at stake. 
Copy to state that before the motor car, this country doctor might have 
taken hours to reach his destination. His automobile has brought him 
in a comparatively brief space of time. How many lives are saved and 
how much suffering alleviated through the ministration of scientifically 
directed power as expressed in an automobile power plant. 

When Life Depended Upon 
Safe Lubrication! 

Tig. 1,32. — A speeding airplane, silhouetted against the lightning-streaked 
sky, and sinister darkness added its own touch of impending danger. Melo- 
drama of the most compelling kind. 

A few years ago, however, the manufacturers of such power 
plants insisted that there was but one method of picturing their 
product, namely, to show it as it was. 

Would you suppose there was any great measure of melodrama 
in overalls? The conventional thing to do would be to show 
good-looking farmers and workmen wearing the product -and 
let it go at that. A sales manager for one of the largest overall 
manufactories in the world set out to find out just why it was 
that this brand had quietly earned the reputation of being the 
"strongest" garment on the market. And here are some of the 
fact stories which came out of his investigation: 



A steel worker, high on a tall building, lost his footing and 
would have fallen to his death had not his overalls caught on a 
projecting obstruction. He hung there for three quarters of 
an hour, helpless, until he was discovered. 

A railroad employee, engaged in building a bridge across a 
swollen mountain stream, pitched headlong to what seemed 
certain death. His working clothes caught on a beam and he 
was lifted to safety. 

Something like three hundred such dramatic incidents were 
eventually uncovered, enough surely, when turned over to an 


IToo Late - ^ 

it was beyond control 

Stands between 
your home 


The Tragedy— 

the useless tragedy of it uU . - . . ,- , . _ 

have the meuns to stifle any fire at the sWrt 

Fig. 133. 

Left. — A gunman, with aimed revolver may cause a first-glance revulsion, but 
the advertiser has a warning to register and a melodramatic story to tell. 

Right. — The tragedy of a human face told in melodramatic terms, and with a 
back-drop of fire-fighting, throb and thrill. 

artist of ability who made one of the most sensational series of 
commercial illustrations ever used. There was a pulse-beat in 
every one of them. The interesting part of such stories as this is 
their close adherence to actual life experiences, they need not 
be fabrication. 

A dirigible broke loose from its moorings in a severe storm 
and was swept seaward in the teeth of a howling winter gale. 
But the men aboard are heroes born, and after a dramatic battle 
for life in the air, the huge bird was steered safely back to its 



hangar. Twenty-four hours afterwards, no less than fifteen 
advertisers had taken advantage of this news feature. One 
manufacturer had made this product used in the dirigible, another 
something else. They were all instrumental in the heroic demon- 
stration of endurance. The series compelled reader attention, 
as inevitably as the most trivial street accident will interest 
crowds of people. 


You can't see it — 

But you know it's there 

131. — Spirited action, as an advertiser of a tiro gauge vividlj- illustrates the 
unseen power of — wind, air, in action. 

It is scarcely fair to declare that attracting attention under 
these conditions is unethical. The melodrama of everyday 
life is as legitimate as its quieter passages. 

The reader asks only that situations be manifestly sincere 
and that scenes depicted be wholly within the range of reason. 
When a manufacturer of roofing shows the tragedy of the mid- 
night fire in a suburban community in the black sky, the distant 
conBagration, the rain of sparks, the sinister red glare, and the 
shadows of many scurrying, frightened figures — and when, in 
the foreground, his artist suggests a single whirling, descending 
jet of fire, just about to fall on a roof, he is dealing in the kind of 


melodrama which is born of fact and which is certain to make 
his audience catch their breaths in sudden expectancy. It is 
action and undeniably good advertising. 

Seek for the embedded melodramatic thrill or heart throb in 
every problem, in every piece of copy, or in every product,* 
however commonplace it may seem to be. The curtain of the 
advertisement will then rise on an opening scene which will 
hold the spectator to the end. 


One development in advertising art is the broadening out of 
its portrait gallery. During the earlier period of experiment, few 
types were attempted. A species of rubber stamp characteriza- 
tion was in vogue, which meant duplication of accepted and 
conventional classifications. There was a one type of business 
man, a one type of housewife, and so on. 

Artists seldom deviated from these studies, which might well 
have originated from a pattern, so closely did they adhere to 
form. If, for example, it came within the advertiser's plans to 
present the picture of a workman, the study was thoroughly 
familiar, and exact counterparts could be found in other 

Today advertising justly boasts of its startlingly large cast of 
characters. Character portrayal was obviously helped along by 
the imaginative quality of copy, which made it absolutely neces- 
sary for the artist to search for new faces and for studies of indi- 
viduals more closely identified with the spirit of their messages. 
To illustrate: the manufacturer of an automotive truck undertook 
to point out to the public the influence of these vehicles on human 
progress. Each type of business was taken in turn, dairying, 
the delivery of groceries, of crops, of meats, etc., and to more 
closely visualize the lines of trade, persons most active in each 
field were shown, in portraits, as near life-sized as possible, on the 
advertising page. From here on, the text explains the relation of 
delivery to purchase — the swift, sure moving of goods. A fea- 
ture of the advertising campaign of a dry goods store, which 
ran for two j^ears, was its weekly presentation of types of men and 
women. There was a delightful study of the typical woman 
shopper. She could be duplicated in every city the country over. 
The study was a symbol of frugality and skilful purchasing power. 
Before this campaign had run its course, no less than fifty large 
character heads had been used, each a marvel of studied choice. 




The copy which accompanied one of the portraits stated: 

Eight billion dollars is the public's annual bill with America's 40,000 
department stores— not including 160,000 other stores handling dry 
goods and allied merchandise. The item for buttons alone is $26,534,- 
000. It requires a trained force of fully a million men and women, at 
an aggregate salary of $700,000,000 a year, to attend the countless 
throngs that gather daily at the counters of these stores. 

An advertiser of radio head sets concluded that no better 
illustrative scheme could be devised, than the showing of different 

Fig. 135.— It is always desirable to eliminate nonessential detail and to show 
"close-ups," for character can be brought out strikingly and in a bold, dramatic 
manner. This advertiser by the use of large heads, can emphasize expression, 
reactions of sentiment, and true character delineation. 

types of Radio fans listening in on programs which inspired facial 
expressions of more than ordinary interest. They ranged from a 
kindly farm grandmother to a tired business man. The showing 
of faces only permitted clear characterization and the series was a 
portrait gallery, more impressive than if rubber stamp tradi- 
tions had been adhered to. 

Every line of business and every advertising campaign encour- 
ages a reaching after suited types of persons. These shades of 
difference are more significant, now that artists have put them on 
paper with conscientious skill. 



A manufacturer wishes to tell the public of the skill and 
specilization of its workers — the people who make the goods. 
And it becomes at once apparent that the workman in a steel 
plant in no wise resembles the toiler in a shoe factory or the work- 
man of the automobile plant. There is a marked difference. 
What people do, what they are, and what they produce appear to 
mold the type. 

It is amazing to discover the variations of types, of facial 
expressions, and of character, clearly defined. No two faces are 
exactly ahke and one of the most amazing truths of human exis- 
tence is the diversity of the human pattern. It is therefore 

Fig. 136. 

Left. — A pleasing character study of a familiar type. The artist looks for a 
living model, and selects such types from the very field he is supposed to portray. 
A real grocer poses for his portrait. All of which makes for a wider, truer range. 

Right. — Rugged farm types, very carefully delineated. Every illustration in 
this series took up some well-known classification, and represented them "to the 

beneficial to advertising to reflect this impressive variety and to 
be wholly truthful in character delineations. 

To walk along a crowded city street or to sit in common carrier 
and make a technical survey of mankind is amusing and instruc- 
tive. Advertising, taking this thought as its pictorial cue, has 
made almost unbelievable progress. 

Because industry, as just one factor, has gradually presented 
its own kith and kin to the rest of the world labor has been dig- 
nified and its activities strengthened. One of the largest manu- 


facturing industries in the world ran full-color portrait studies of 
various workers on the cover of its internal house organ. They 
were pleased with the publicity given them and their effort, both 
of which would be, under most circumstances, concealed deep 
down in puddling rooms, in foundries, at lathes, and in grimy 
empires of iron and steel. For people to know " how the other half 
of the world lives" is a beneficial influence — this contact with 
industry and its rank and file. The consumer who is interested 
in how and by whom the product is made is more tolerant 
and more appreciative. 

The following paragraph from an advertisement of this sort 
is illuminative : 

The real foundation on which a superior product is built lies not in 
mere bigness of plant, but rather in the organization and character of the 
men and women who day by day contribute their part to its making. 

The American Seating Company has presented in its campaign 
many splendid character studies of its workers, however, humble 
they may be. How does it happen that this study of a veteran 
maker of school desks is so strangely real, so human, so distinctly 
true to type? Those who see the advertisement know immedi- 
ately that there is nothing superficial in the portrait. 

Artists now go to industrial plants and makes sketches and 
have men and women sit for them. The job is conscientiously 
done. These studies are not "made up" in studios. An 
artist, employed to produce a number of distinctive factory types, 
spent two months at the plant. He lived with these people, 
watched them at work, and saw them in their homes. He came 
to know them intimately, and from this experience developed 
a series of genuinely impressive character studies. The man, 
at work on the Americain Seating Company school desk, "looks 
the part" because he is the creator of his role. 

This explains why it is that the portrait gallery of modern 
advertising has gained so much and has become so pronouncedly 
vitalized during the past few years. Portraiture is more con- 
scientiously done. The opportunity was always there; artists 
did not take advantage of it. 

There is often virtue in homeliness and in the unassuming. 
The public had reached a point where it was unquestionably 
satiated with the cloying sweetness of the pretty girl type of 
illustration, all affectation and no character. Advertisers labored 



under the impression that people wanted an idealized type. It 
did not. It wanted and has always wanted, truth, that which 
was natural. 

Affectation in character portrayal is as dangerous and as 
unsatisfactory as lack of truth in advertising. 

Where once there was an unbroken line of pretty dolls there 
are true-to-life portraits real people, of real women, housekeepers, 

Fia. 137. — The artist humanizes the expert factory veteran and suggests that 
genuine sentiment goes into his task. 

matrons, mothers, daughters, sisters, and college girls. The 
superficial has yielded to a reflection of people as they arc found. 
A campaign was built on making grocers the star of every 
advertising performance. And in order to secure the portraits 
for this series, the artist made sketches in grocery shops in seven 
different states. He searched for interesting types. There 
was no attempt to glorify the men ])ohind the counter. They 
were drawn as people find them, day by day. 



To illustrate properly another campaign, the artist had his 
models pose for hnn, A policeman, a sea captain, a miner, a / 
chopper of trees from the pacific northwest, a Pullman car con- 
ductor, and a governess posed for the advertising artist. 

Fig. 138. — For one year this advertiser believed it distinctly worth while to 
delineate character — the character of the men found in the average garage. The 
artist went at this work conscientiously, sketching from real types. 

The central character of a successful campaign used as its 
central figure, Mr. Average Motorist. A dozen unsuccessful 



attempts were made to create a type which would be at once 
familiar to everyone. The advertiser and the artist went to a 
popular country club. They watched the steady stream of cars 
passing a given point, during Saturdays and Sunda3^s, and when 
that "type" flashed across their vision — for there always is 
a one best symbol of every class — the problem was explained to 

7:30 a.m. 

FATHER says breakfast isn't 
conjpletc without Dromedary 

11:00 A.M. 

BROTHER'S f.nvoriic .andwicfr- 
ci at school rewsi arc chopped 
Jary Dales with cheese. 

6:30 P.M. 

UNCLE loves his D 
dary Date S>-ufile, or 
just pljin dates for din 

Fig. 139. — Every member of the average family is made to join advertising's 
cast of active characters. Whereas, a few years ago, these types were artificial 
and all of a conventional pattern, it is now customary to search for sincerity of 

him and he was persuaded to pose for the drawing, with certain 
changes to prevent its identification. 

People are invariably interesting. The advertiser who comes 
closest to approximating real folks is certain to receive the most 
engrossed attention and the largest audience. 



Graham Brothers Trucks Graham Brothers Trucks 

Fig. 140. — Two ruggedly interesting character studies, from a connected 
series, which, in their aggregate display, form a portrait gallery of unconven- 
tional advertising types. These character studies are closely allied with the 
story, in each case, and are not merely "dragged in" for embellishment. 

FiQ. 141. — A year of advertising based on portraits of exacting people who drink 
the coffee. And in each case, the faces tell a story of satisfaction. 



Truth in the delineation of types is as necessary in modern 
advertising illustration as fidelity to truth in copy. The public 
is just as responsive, just as exacting. These people of the 
advertising "stage" are supposed to represent, in many instances, 
the reader of the advertisement. The advertiser asks him to 
so consider the situation, the persons shown, the story. Adver- 
tising art of this generation is no more than a picture of every- 
day existence and the colorful human panorama that animates 
it. Therefore, types should be genuine, convincing, plucked 
from each separate walk of life. 


142. — Two impressively "real" studies of young men, drawn from models 
and carefully avoiding the "rubber stamp" school of portraiture. 

An advertising artist spent a month in Maine in order to find 
the one best model for a typical guide. This character, used in 
a serial way, throughout a year's campaign, would be scrutinized 
by people who have employed guides and who know the type. 
The slightest deviation from fact would weaken the entire series. 
This advertiser received nearly 4,000 letters, complimenting it 
on the wonderful drawing of the old guide. "I have been out 
with that very chap," was the substance of this friendly corre- 
spondence. For every desired type there is a living model and 
the advertiser must find that model. 


Not all figure compositions should be looked upon as of the 
true human interest sort. It is one thing to introduce characters 
in an illustration, and another thing to delineate types so deftly 
and stage their actions with such fidelity that the product's 
virtues are immediately visualized. 

In general, it may be said, that the ideal human interest 
illustration is one wherein true-to-life incidents are presented, 
without exaggeration or bombast. It is as ill-advised to exagger- 
ate in pictures as to strain for effect in copy. Exaggeration 
invites suspicion. Yet following too closely in the footsteps 
of normal existence is to deal in bromidic situations, hackneyed 
ideas, and the drab trappings of things which experience has 
made obvious. 

That the commonplace circumstance does not arouse interest 
is a theory certainly open to challenge. It must be remembered 
that human nature itself has not materially altered in thousands 
of years. There are basic themes, sentiments, and ideas which 
time leaves the same. Pictures which show primal passions or 
sentiments have universal appeal because they are fundamental 
and easily recognized. They permit the reader to place himself 
in the same precise environment. Reflect what John Smith docs, 
and John Smith is acutely conscious of his part in proceedings. 
He is temporarily flattered by his personal ability to interpret your 
picture narrative. 

When a human interest illustration is so intensely human 
that the public steps into its action, there is every assurance of 
favorable results. It is only on occasion that people crave to 
eliminate everyday contacts, and the campaign which spreads 
a magic carpet becomes efTective. It is true, however, that 
the enduring thing is the thing with which we are all most 




Create an illustration which shall compel the reader to say: 

"I have been there myself." 

"I know a man who looks like that." 

"I've done that many, many times." 

"I wish I had one." 

"I have seen people do that." 

you win an intimacy of contact which has sympathy and perfect 
understanding as its base. Life is too full for any advertiser to 
imagine that there is a shortage of material. Because these 

Fig. 143. — Mothers will chuckle over this good-natured exposition of little 
tots at their bath, and the advertiser successfully visualizes the fact that the 
right varnish on a floor means no worry over spilled water. 

themes are all around us, perhaps even light Ij^ brushing us as 
they pass, they are often overlooked. The obvious is not to 
be despised. Half-hearted and ineffective handling of the appar- 
ently commonplace is what discourages its use. It is as dis- 
tressing as a good play, poorly acted and falsely staged. 

Consider pictures of babies; exaggerate them and what they 
do, attempt to force them into situations which cannot exist, or 
widen the range of their action beyond actuality, and the fraud is 
resented. The advertisement may win a smile, but it has 
sacrificed the respect and the spontaneous confidence of the 
prospect. Babies are quite funny and pretty and interesting 



enough, exactly as they arc, in everyday hfe, and it is an artist 
indeed who can suggest their elusive charms. The test of the 
craftsman is depicting life; it is easier to cartoon and to burlesque. 
An illustration may be drawn with consummate skill and 
nevertheless fall short of delivering a deeply moving story. 
There is a sharp demarcation between skill of draftsmanship, 
ingenuity of technique, and subtlety of story. A very poor draw- 
ing may possess inspired qualities of pulse-stirring emotion, 
which indicates that it is the plot of the picture as well as its 
interpretation, which influences potential power in an advertis- 
ing sense. 

Fig. 144. — Two contrasting examples of admirable "human interest" illus- 
trations, one frankly sentimental, yet beautifully so, the other scintillant with 
humor. Nor is the selling message of the varnish neglected. 

Exactly the same principles hold good as in advertising copy; 
dialogue, unrestrained and unnatural, is not to be compared 
with text written in the true vernacular. The advertiser loses 
his true perspective, no doubt, in his effort to emphasize his argu- 
ment. He is afraid the public wdll not understand it. When 
illustrations picture an entire family going into an hysteria of 
action over some small article of everday use, or a stern board 
of directors hypnotized by a cog or a piece of leather belting, the 
advertising is weakened to the extent of its lapse from realism. 

Restraint is probably one of the most valuable attributes of 
the human interest illustration; the insight which prompts an 
artist to go just so far — and stop. 



It is a by no means uncommon practice for advertisers to arrive 
first at their story pictures from carefully written art scenarios. 
The advantage of this is the opportunity it provides for analysis 
and gradual development, as the first preliminary sketches are 

Characteristic picture plots would be mapped out in this 
interesting manner: 

Schedule. — Page space. Farm journal list. For use in 
December. Illustration may occupy three-fourths of total 
space. Medium-original wash drawing, half-tone plates. In 

Fig. 145. — A General Electric illustration to elaborate the fact that if " Father 
did the washing just once," in the old-fashioned way, he would speedily declare 
for modernism. "Human interest" in every line. 

each case master engraving delivered to publication. No 
electros. Small showing of two views of watch model, full 
front and side. Vigorous human interest type of picture with 
touch of humor to appeal to specific class. Illustration should 
l)ring out thorough time-keeping dependability of product. 

Picture Plot. — Boy and girl, not under sixteen or eighteen years 
of age, sitting before open hearth, on comfortable lounge. Tops 
of their heads showing, only. Engrossed and unconscious of 
presence of others. Room in semi-darkness. Furnishings of a 
comfortable but by no means luxuriant home. (Keep in mind 
that modern farm house has up-to-date fixtures. Detail, how- 
ever, softened and subdued by shadows.) 


Fig. 146. 

Upper. — A novel departure from the conventional automobile drawing, in 
that figures and their action are permitted to take precedence over the car itself. 
Observe the humorous story told without need of words. 

Lower. — An unusually unique type of human interest drawing which cartoons 
the basic idea of unguarded heat pipe in a home: it is as if the poor furnace had to 
do its work in the open. An "attention compellcr." 


In immediate foreground, three-quarter-length study of farm 
father of the prosperous and progressive type. Smoking jacket. 
Eye-glasses in one hand, to suggest that he has been up reading. 
Whimsical expression on the old man's face, mouth puckered, 
twinkle in eyes. No suggestion of displeasure. He looks 
straight out at reader, as if taking him into full confidence. 
Right hand, raised to catch light from fireplace, holds watch. 
Hands visible, and hour around twelve. By placing this hand in 
approximate center of composition, the light dial of the watch 

Fio. 147. — A dramatic story told in picture form, as an ingeniously placed ray 
of light, forces the reader to concentrate upon a single face in the hustling, 
bustling throng. 

will form bull's-eye of visual interest. Obvious from illustration, 
that Father is about to tell visitor his "time is up" for the call. 

Copy Slant. — "No ground for argument. Dad 'has the goods 
on them.' There are times when the Keystone Standard is 
provokingly accurate." 

Such scenarios of human interest as the above greatly facilitate 
the making of an illustration. It is significant that a practical 
mind has warned the artist against technical errors, such as 
"playing down" to the farm audience. 



In some organizations, it is customary to request suggestions 
in this form from a number of people and departments, the most 
likely idea being adopted, after discussion in open conference. 

Eliminating the technical references, two additional scenarios 
are quoted in part, as a further indication of the spirit which 

Fig. 148. — One of the General Motors dramas from real life. The little 
farm mother and her daughter are dreaming bright dreams of where the new 
automobile will take them. A charcoal illustration, from carefully chosen 

prevails in the building of human interest illustrations of the 
intensely natural school. The first might be a word picture 
interpretation of one of a series of powerful page drawings for 
the Underwood portable typewriter. 



Boj'- of the characteristic "Penrod" group. Has removed coat and is 
at machine under evening lamp. Paper shade tilted back to diffuse 
light. Obvious that it is the study period at home. School books in 
evidence, clock, papers. Boy is typing, but expression of face and 
thoughtful pose, as his eyes scan the neat page, give intimation of 
momentary reverie. 

His thoughts take form in a panoramic scene in the background, 
occupjang major portion of top-position space. Dominant in this 
vista is proudly poised study of Daniel Boone, musket over arm, coon- 
skin cap conspicuous. Faint suggestion around him of his comrades, 
distant hills. 

Fig. 149. — A quiet, unruffled study of the contented pipc-smoker, who fits 
his tobacco to his books and his moods. An illustration which is a human- 
interest story in itself, even without reading matter. 

Far from being a mere "eye-catching picture," this page, as 
finally worked out, has its roots in a forceful selling story. With 
an Underwood, the imaginative boy brings a famous character of 
history to life on the printed page : 

All the romance of the winning of the wilderness is a vivid, thrilling 
reality in the mind of the boy as he works at his history lesson. Free 
from the drudgery of hand-writing , he is able to concentrate every 
thought on his ivork. And Daniel Boone comes to life! 

It is singularly true, after the most exhaustive study of adver- 
tising illustrations in various kinds of media, that human interest, 
as a source of subject and inspiration, is most impressive when it 
lives up to a disciphnary rule of being irreproachably human. 
An unnatural situation cannot be made effective, however 
expertly it may be decked in technique and in superior execu- 


tion. There must be truth in the concept, and the public is 
rather fond of seeing itself in pictures. 

Artists of more sensative understanding have given material 
aid by the use of models which are akin to the story. The por- 
trait gallery of advertising art really reflects types. If a police- 
man is to figure in the composition, it is more than likely that a 
real officer will pose; if a Penrod is to be hero for a day, then a 
Penrod is invited to the studio. Genuine character studies have 
taken the place of the deplorable rubber stamp personages that 
once paraded through advertising campaigns. When a commer- 
cial illustration lives and when it continues its activities long 
after its original appearance, it will be found to have contained 
rich' veins of humor or of pathos, conscientious character deline- 
ation, and situations drawn from everyday experience. 

Illustrations of this kind are valuable as advertising because 
they can accomplish the following objectives: 

Products are shown in service and under natural working 

Pictures which cause the prospect to use his own imagination 
stimulate a desire to share in conditions visualized. 

Although the copy may not be read, the illustration forms a 
complete selling message. 

The advertiser's subject material is supplied with an attractive, 
humanized setting. Sentiment which becomes predominant is 
often far more effective than shop talk. 

Products which are, in themselves, rather drab and undramatic 
may be made to take on a new appeal. 

The human interest illustration is less commercial. It 
accomplishes its purpose by skilful indirection. The prospect 
is coaxed into an interest which he might otherwise not entertain. 

Human interest pictures are, in reality, demonstrations and 
doubly convincing because praise comes from an apparently 
disinterested source — the user himself. 


Full-color campaigns are everywhere in evidence. Yet it is 
by no means either possible or expedient for all advertisers to go 
to this added expense. In magazines which carry large volumes 
of radiantly attractive color illustrations, the question of compe- 
tition must necessarily come up for consideration. Is it arbi- 
trarily true that, all else being equal, the advertiser employing 
color is more likely to monopolize attention, than the competitor, 
prehaps in the same line, who can use black and white only? 

Here technique often makes up for the difference and equalizes 
matters. It is told of one advertiser that, not being granted an 
appropriation which would bear the greatly added expense of 
color originals, process plates, and the considerable item of space, 
printing, etc., he set out to meet his color adversaries by the 
subtle power of a black and white technique which should, by its 
artistic charm and novelty, compel wide popular consideration. 

The experiment was a success. The series of illustrations 
was more widely commented upon than the color campaigns of 

There was an individuality of pen technique which at once 
arrested the attention, even of those wholly unfamiliar with the 
production features of advertising and art mediums. There 
has always been a fascination attached to pen drawings. Per- 
haps it has to do with the fact that the average individual looks 
upon all half-tones, in black and white, as work of the camera 
and of photography, while line illustrations are obviously a 
creation. Invention and ingenuity have entered into their 

Novelty, will, for a long time to come, appeal to the masses 
not understanding the principles governing artistic creation. 
The eye and the imagination are both lured by the unconven- 
tional. There is something of magic in pen and ink. Anditisnot 
necessarily true that the most artistic rendering or technique is 
the one which makes the deepest impression. Advertisers have 





Many Gorham patterns are faithful 
replicas of fine old work of earlier 
centuries. The spirit of the great 
periods of art is inteUigently inter- 
preted, and exquisitely wrought in 
Sterling Solid Silver, to meet modern 
conditions and requirements. 

Sterling Silver' for Everybody 

Highest in duality, not Highest 
in price. For sale at respon- 
sible Jewelers everywhere. 

Fig. 150. — Elsewhere, for another advertising purpose, this Gorham scries 
has been commended. In the present case, the unique and painstaking work of 
4he pen-and-ink artist is the feature. Surfeited by photographs, advertisers 
turn to such line plates as this — for campaign individuality. 


had a difficult and elusive struggle in this respect. They have 
prepared illustrations to suit themselves in many instances and 
to measure up to the artistic standards of the advertising pnv 
fession, thinking that this appreciation of the best naturally 
reached out to their audiences. It has repeatedly occurred 
that a baffling pen illustration has drawn a larger audience than 
an elaborate half-tone original of a full-color canvas, painted 
by an artist of note. These are facts which it is unprofitable to 

A story comes to mind of an architect who, having made a 
phenomenal success, was asked to what he attributed his fol- 
lowing, for the houses he designed were in no sense artistic. 
He said: 

I have found that the majority of people, in this generation at least, 
are attracted to detail. I put many extra touches on every house. 
There are fussy things and intricate designs. Roofs are cut into peculiar 
patches. The modern generation is intrigued by pattern and detail 
and that which is odd. 

The average magazine or newspaper reader looks with a 
certain amount of awe upon techniques which are somewhat 
outside his complete understanding. Etching the Lord's Prayer 
on the head of a pin has never ceased to make people whisper 
when they speak of it. And when an artist conscientiously 
reproduces detail with a pen, he does something which makes 
readers marvel. They pause to think of the workmanship, 
the patience, the knowledge, and the skill which have entered 
into the picture. It is permissible to declare, therefore, that 
pen technique is productive of serious consideration. 

Weary of the monotony of original wash drawings and full- 
color illustrations and the inevitable black and white effects, as 
represented by dry brush, charcoal, pencil, vivid contrasts, and 
ultra-commercialism, world without end, certain resourceful 
advertisers occasionally turn to this one technique which baffles 
the amateur's analysis. Yet it is little more than a blend of 
immeasurable detail and a close adherence to realism. It is 
photography in pen and ink, as it were. 

Several national campaigns based on this principle are of 
practical interest. In each case, actual technique, in black and 
white, has overcome somewhat the handicap of lack of color, 
in the midst of color. One example, destined to be representative 



Fia. 151. — The same subject, handled in two shrewdly interesting composi- 
tions. A product which would be commonly shown in color is made effective 
through the use of a pen technique so unusual, so intricate, so remarkable as an 
art "feat" that the public quickly responds with the tribute of universal com- 
mendation. The artist literally "Paints with his pen." 



of its class for many years to come, was employed in l^ehalf of 
the Gorham Company, jewelers and dealers in silverware. 
That traditions must be upheld was the first consideration. 
The articles to be pictured were choice pieces of silver and 
tablecraft. A series was produced which created little less than 
a public furore and the admiration of advertising men, artists, 
and the professional experts. Yet its technique and its basic 
idea was, after all, as old almost, as the art of pen and ink. It 
meant a revival of detailed and shaded illustrations. 

Fig. 152. — Homely subjects are given added interest and eye appeal through the 
ability of the artist to make them artistically attractive. 

Each grouping of tableware, of cut glass, and of immaculate 
accessories, was arranged, of course, in artistic composition. 
The articles were then photographed with as much resource as 
if the camera studies were to be reproduced. From these bases 
came delicate pen drawings, perfectly reproducing the details 
of each product, yet tempered with idealism. 

Nothing essential was lost because of the fact that color or 
photographic detail were missing. The artist had caught every 
shadow and high light, every delicacy of pose and pattern, every 
subtle hint of material used. The glint of silver was there 



unmistakably. A bone handle on a knife, an ivory finish, the 
candle in a candlestick, flowers in an exquisite vase successfully 
translated into terms of pen strokes. 

Fig. 153. — -The artist, in this pen drawing, has so faithfully sought realism 
and detail, that no photograph could more satisfactorily reproduce the article 
advertised. From the public standpoint, a realization of this is coupled with 
amazement over the marvels of the method. 

Fig. 154. — The delineation of foods is considered exceedingly difficult in pen 
and ink. This fact has forced advertisers of such products into full color of the 
most expensive character. But that realism can be found at the tip of an 
artist's pen is verified by such remarkable studies as the above. Sheer wonder- 
ment occurs over the ingenuity of the intricate technique. 

And, all the while, the eye was conscious of a masterful repre- 
sentation. How could human hand lay lines with such adroit 



skill? Technique had begun where color left off. Interest in 
the method was not to be outdone by the extravaganza of process 
plates. Those who saw the illustrations were aware that a very 

Fig. 1o5.- — Uncommercial to a degree, as the average advertising illustration 
is understood and "smacking" more of the story type. Effective, particularly, 
because drawn by an illustrator who has been identified wth story illustration. 


Fig. 156. — A very unique, light-shade pen technique. It is used to advertise 
green-houses and therefore must appeal to those of artistic inclination. 

fine and worthy thing had been done, a thing which required 

Sometimes it is a popular professional pose to reason that 
the true success in conunercial art never permits the prospect to 



think of mediums, of execution, of how the thing is done and 
that the illustration, to do its work well, must, of necessity, 
forget any consciousness of the workman's own craft. All of 
which is affectation. These illustrations were altogether atmos- 
pheric, charming, and commercially effective. They merely 
added a wonder technique to professional posings. And they 
struck a new note. Nothing quite like them had appeared up to 
date or within the memory of their generation. They were 

--to an Appreciative Husband 

Fig. 157. — A pen drawing made from a photograph, and done with the exacting care as to infinite detail. More interesting than any photograph 
could possibly be. 

artistically different and, being original, as has been repeatedly 
pointed out, is an advertising obligation. Here was a case where 
an inherently beautiful product was glorified through technique, 
to the point where even color and half-tone plates could not hope 
to compete. 

What of the homely product, which, even in its most likely 
representation, in matters of art, is by no means beautiful? It is 
here, again, that pen technique is of assistance. It brings out 



I ..r\'un 


Fig. 158. — A pen and ink illustration done in the popular story-illustration 
school. Incidentally, the artist is known as a fiction-story technician, and the 
campaign gains because of this. 

FiQ. 159. — A bold, brutal, open-line pen and ink drawing for poor-i)aper 
reproduction, but artistic, nevertheless. Successful for ncw.spapor work but 
just as attractive when employed in magazines, on better paper. 



the interesting fact that regardless of theme or subject, the 
artist's pen may weave true romance around the humble and the 
ambitious alike. An advertiser of pancake flour has so embel- 
lished homely household themes, such as platters of flapjacks, 
syrup jugs, and the like, that they are "paintings in pen and 
ink." Examples here reproduced show the marvelous possi- 
bilities in this direction. 

The obvious question is how may illustrations of this peculiar 
type be produced? Is there some special method of procedure? 
The answer is equally obvious. It is largely a matter of technical 



Fig. 160. — An illustration which is known as a non-commercial type, varying 
widely from advertising pictures as customarily seen. It has the "story" 

skill on the part of the artist himself. A striking campaign of 
this class was produced by a middle-aged man who had been 
employed at Washington as an engraver of bank notes. In 
another instance, the artist came from a talented family specializ- 
ing in pen drawings of landscapes. 

Unquestionably, it is a specilization — nor is this technique to 
be confused with any of the many variants — where delicate, 
detailed pen lines from the basis of a school, such as imitation 
wood engravings. It is a technique demanding patience and 
attention to fine detail. It means echoing the photograph, in 
all its realism, with pen strokes. It is a rather confusing combina- 


tion of the commercial and the beautiful, because these draw- 
ings are realistic as well as artistic. 

It must be admitted that by two processes alone are such 
results obtained. One is to pose the object, photograph it, and 
from the camera study, make a silver print. Over this, the artist 
works, eliminating and modifying, yet always conscious of the 
copy beneath his pen. He gives a true interpretation, as to 
detail, combined with occasional touches of the free, the sketchy. 

Fig. IGl. — The original may have been inspired by a photograph but the 
pen has given it greatly added interest. Yet not a particle of important atmos- 
pheric detail has been lost in this art transition. 

and the atmospheric. And all the while, it is the artist within 
him which dictates every touch of his pen. There is no adequate 
manner of expressing how it can be done for the artist feels his way. 
But with a photographic silver print as the base, the realism 
which is so important a phase of the technique becomes well nigh 
arbitrary. Take a study of a pan of biscuits, for example. 
It is doubtful if the same results could be obtained were the 
artist to pose a pan of biscuits and draw them as they appear to 
him. The fidelity of detail would not be interpreted. The 
salt print brings these very fine points out. 



Other artists use a photograph for copying purposes, panto- 
graphing it on white drawing paper, and, with the camera study- 
always before them, they interpret the detail in their own artistic 
mood. The copying method is considered the more likely 
method. It is not so slavish as the silver print. 

To summarize, there are times when sheer power of technique 
may seem more worth while than presumably ambitious and 
overwhelming full-color and wash illustrations by powerful 

Fig. 162. — One of a series for Karpen Furniture. Very beautiful pen and 
ink detailed study of an interior made to compete with full-color, by virtue of 
interesting technique. 

competitors. In such a demand the pen and ink detailed school 
is assured of an interested, often a fascinated audience, attracted 
equally by the subject and by the ingenuity of the method. 
Several years ago, in a salon exhibit in Paris, two canvasses were 
side by side. One was a large and impressive futuristic subject, 
bold as to color and commanding as to method; the other was 
a miniature painting, done in shades of sepia and a monotone. 
It was not more than eight inches square, but it depicted a 
cavalry charge, and, despite the thundering avalanche of men 
and horses, dust and confusion, the buttons on coats could be 
seen, the pupils in startled eyes, the glint on a sabre. Here 



was a startling triumph of infinite detail, yet, withal, artistic 
which is a rare combination. 

Artists did not care for the small painting. They saw through 
its sham, as was to be expected. The public, unschooled, saw one 
canvas in that room only. Even the neighboring large colorful 
painting, done by a master, could not interrupt the trend of their 

"But see!" they would exclaim, quite breathlessly, "the artist 
has shown the nails in the horseshoes. He has painted every 
link in every chain of a scabbard. He has even gone so far as 
to reproduce the insignia on the tops of metal buttons! Is it 
not wonderful! marvelous!" 

,-,^ W .•■'■*-';^^'^. . 

Fig. 1G3.- — -The artistry of pen and ink, interpreting a still-life study, made to 
give character throughout an entire campaign. 

These ingenious pen drawings which leave nothing to the imagi- 
nation, and which represent, on their very face, an almost 
immeasurable amount of exacting human effort, do not fail to 
appeal to such audiences. Sometimes, they are artistic; some- 
times precise and unyielding in their obvious desire for effect; 
occasionally, they are worthy in every way. At any rate, they 
play their part in relieving the monotony of advertising illus- 
tration. But the majority of them arc valuable to the adver- 
tiser as expositions of what can be done with a very fine drawing 
pen and a bottle of jet black ink. They prove that the pen 
technique can lend itself to the most thorough interpretations of 
intricate detail and that an artist, temperamentally inclined to 
this school, can, indeed, "paint with a pen." 


The modern artist may have lost the skill which should have 
been a heritage handed down from wood-engravers of old, but 
he has developed in its stead an uncanny aptitude for imitating 
the technique made famous by those earlier geniuses who, with 
steady hands and an abiding faith in the importance of their 
field, transformed blocks of wood into memorials of art. 

In other words, the technique of the wood engraver is so 
marvelously simulated today, with other tools than his, that some- 
times it is difficult indeed to select the real from the bogus, the 
imitation from the revival. And, now and again, an advertiser, 
striving for individuality, for the outward, physical designations 
of pride in preparation, actually employs a veteran, some artis- 
tic survivor, to whom his block of wood and his engraving tools 
mean more than brush or pen. 

Commercially speaking, the woodcut, even to this day, serves 
a purpose which no subsequent process or technique has managed 
to excel. The advertiser who must use small illustrations for 
printing on poor paper stock and whose subject material is 
cluttered with essential detail, can be sure of the printing quali- 
ties of the wood engraving, although the wood block itself is not 
finally used but rather a line engraving made from its proof, 
electro, and matrix. 

Something in the sturdy decision and precision of line makes 
for clarity, for printability, and for contrasts which do not become 
congested. This is particularly true in the case of little cuts of 
the catalog variety, which must depict the details of the prod- 
uct, the works of a watch, the fine detail of jewelry and the 
intricacies of articles which are studied, as one of the steps in 
closing the sale. 

They are not as artistic as pen and ink creations, but they 
print well, under any and all conditions, and faithfully represent 
the most elaborate patterns and the most complicated mechan- 
isms. Nothing need be lost in a woodcut illustration. 




That the woodcut technique should print, in small space, on 
poor paper, where original pen drawings fail, or are at least 
partially inadequate, may be traced to the quality of contrast 
and the methodical manner of shading lines. In wood engrav- 

FiG. 164. — A most remarkable pen drawing, executed in the manner of the wood- 
cut of old. 

ings of this specific type, blacks are invariably placed against 
white areas. There is a sureness of line and a directness of 
lights and of shadows. 

Fig. 165. — Digni with the ntiiiDspluTc of 

the wood engraving, whutlicr iium actual wood blocks or imitated in pen and 

The advertiser in farm journals, using small space, and com- 
pelled to show, nevertheless, perhaps a farm implement, in careful 
detail, in a two-inch square limit, often turns to original woodcuts 


as perhaps the sole solution of his problem. In this case, they 
are genuine wood blocks and not imitations of wood engravings. 
Advertisers of recent years, however, have not for the most 
part turned to the woodcut atmosphere and technique neces- 
sarily as a mechanical means of securing detail pictures which 
will print under adverse circumstances. The far larger incentive 
has been one of an ambitious desire for new campaign character, 
a new school, forgotten by the present generation, an art atmos- 
phere, not customarily observed. 

Fig. 166. — A notable series, tliis, with the woodcut spirit admirably sustained. 

The woodcut spirit adds another technique to the many now 
in use. The same difference of opinion which helps make the 
world go 'round is also an active agency in keeping commercial 
art out of a rut. One of its saving graces is its truly marvelous 
variety. Its moods are necessarily many. 

It is by no means easy, however, to secure fine examples of 
wood engraving in the present era, because of counter-irritants 
which are not congenial to the artist. He is scarcely one to be 
rushed; it will not do to stand over him with the lash of emer- 
gency. The wood engraver proceeds with leisurely skill. And 
since there are comparatively few experts nowadays, prices are 
apt to be high. Then there is the element of chance. Anything 
may happen to a wood block, even at the moment when forms 



are ready to close. Corrections, obviously, are a matter of 
hazard and technical hardship. The changeable advertiser, 
who would make innumerable corrections, is not welcomed by 
any responsible wood engraver. It is an art which can not 
invite the muddling, meddhng hand of the outsider. 

Recognizing the artistic possibilities of a revival of the wood- 
cut style, particularly for advertising purposes, where it has 
made its appearance intermittently, guardedly, and in no great 
volume adv(Mtisers developed this novel substitute — the original 

Fio. 167. — Despite the sreat reduction, neccssarj'' in a limited hook display 
of this kind, the refinements of the technique are obvious. 

drawing which, as has been claimed for it, simulates the wood 
block efforts of even the veteran engraver. Resourceful artists 
have their individual methods of arriving at the result, but by 
far the most popular is the one wherein a specific kind of 
"treated" drawing board or paper lends ample assistance. 

These drawing surfaces are unique in that they have a chalky 
coat which can be scratched away easily enough with any sharp 
instrument. Some artists employ such tools as are in the studio 
of the wood engraver. The woodcut effects, shadings, areas 
of light and shade, and rigid certainty of line, are encouraged, 


while working on these specially treated papers, because the 
stroke and the technical methods are similar, 

A background is desired, for example which shall be made up 
of a series of exact lines, executed with absolute uniformity, a 
technique common to wood engraving. The artist paints in 
the area in solid black, either with ink or with water-color paint, 
allows it to dry thoroughly, and then etches out the white areas 
with a sharp instrument, made in varying designs for this purpose. 
(A noted specialist is content with a pen knife blade.) 

Fig. 168. — The woodout techniquo mingled with free pen handling. As a relief 
from the inevitable halftone, such illustrations are highly desirable. 

The design is literally scratched on the chalky surface the 
usual procedure being reversed, in that white appears, as this 
chalk is cut away. This, however, is but one of the possibilities 
of the special drawing board. The chalk surface, exceedingly 
hard, does not prevent the use of a pen or a brush. With equal 
facility, the artist may employ black. There is just enough 
resistance to create an individualistic line. 

To paint dark areas in solid black and then to secure half 
tones and shading, by means of scratching out white lines of 
varing weights is, of course, to produce a technique impossible 
with the reverse method. No pen, working on a white surface, 



could hope to accomplish the same distinctive character of line 
or of shaded tone. One of the admirable utilitarian qualities of 
the surfaced drawing board is the opportunity accorded for 
working in deft little highlights of mere pin points at the last 

In.. Ki'J. A iii().->t ilTuctive design, refined as to iitnioiplicre ;md coin 
luid vying successfully with full color rendering of the same subject 

in some 

The artist, all the while, has patterned his technique after the 
wood engraving style. That has been his model, his guide and 
his inspiration. 

The effect depends largely upon the quality of line used. 
Lines, regardless of their weight, are placed side by side with 
unerring regularity, fluid smoothness. It is a technique requiring 
infinite patience, time, and clear vision. It is not scratchy, 
sketchy, or free. The woodcut is formal, methodical, sure. 


The imitation woodcut illustration is produced by some crafts- 
men without the aid of artificial accessories. They weave the 

•r. ^Ji^' ^l^'~'^ fl®^ °^ 7""^^ drawings for magazine work was interpreted 
scr '^ technique when poorer paper stock prohibited the fine halftone 

Fig. 171.— Artists have learned to make pen drawings which embrace many of 
tHe mtercstmg and complex qualities of the woodcut. 

technique with a pen. Needless to say, it is a long process and 
one demanding a keen appreciation of fine detail. There may 



be need of stipplings of white, or white lines, closely placed, to 
produce certain effects, and sometimes these are done with a pen, 
in white paint or ink. There is always danger, however, of the 
displacement of this white: it may peel or crack. The drawing 

A Bottle of MUK is a Bottle of Hedath 

Fig. 172. — AA oodcul atiuosidicrc retained llinMiiili an entire .--erii's, tlu'rc'hy 
providing desirable continuity. 

becomes highly perishable. Because of this, the other process of 
scratching out white is preferred. 

Reduction becomes a vital consideration. Originals made 
several times larger than they are to appear on the printed page 
often result in disappointment. The ideal copy is same size, 
although this naturally cramps the artist in his work and makes 


need for even greater precision. Where a full-fledged wood 
engraving might easily require several weeks in its preparation, 
a pen imitation of it may be produced in a day or so. So remark- 
able has been the progress made that, in many notable advertising 

A New 4-Pa55enber Coupe 

This car is Dodge Brothers response to a definite 
demand — 

A high grade coupe of moderate weight and size 
thtt will seat four adult passengers in genuine 

The body is an admirable example of fine coach 
building. Low. graceful <imartly upholstered and 
attractively finished in Dodge Brothers blue it 
reflects dignity and distinct on m every line 

Above all. the 4passen 
istically a Dodge Brothe 
all the attributes of cor 
service for which more than 
Brothers Motor Cars are favorably kn 
out the world. 

Fig. 173. Member of a family of woodcut spirit illustrations retaining a 
majority of the methods of the technique of long ago. 

campaigns, it has baffled the most observing and studious eyes — 
this adaption of the wood block technique, as a short cut to 
almost identical results. 

A significant development, however, reaches into other fields. 
Artists, while experimenting with the pen imitation of the wood- 



cut, have come upon accidental techniques, which often take on 
something of the pen and something of the wood engraver's 
sharp-edged and pointed instruments. These drawings are not 
quite of the woodcut school, nor have they the freedom of the 
conventional pen illustration. 

It occasionally transpired that, after an artist has completed a 
colorful pen and ink illustration, another will work over it with 
a sharp knife or with a pen and white ink, and make such addi- 

FiG. 174. — It is true of the "woodcut technique" that it makes an equally 
handsome and distinctive appearance on poor paper stock or on the finest of 
glazed surfaces. 

tions and changes as will give the drawing a hint of the woodcut 
technique, although in no sense attempting its 100 per cent 

Woodcut illustration, or imitations of their technique, are used 
for the following definite reasons: 

To provide individuality of art atmosphere throughout a 
connected campaign. 

To get away from the sameness of half-tone work and of the 
more conventional line drawings, as observed in the average 


To suggest quality and aloofness. 

To insure printability, where much detail must be shown in 
very small space and on poor paper. 

To guarantee workman-like interpretation of complex patterns, 
mechanical details, etc. in catalog illustrations — particularly when 
paper used in large-edition books is porous and coarse-grained. 

Fig. 175. — Full pa^rc- ■■n ihc i„„n- i.ainT 
beautifully in this series for Ford Tractors, 
proof" in this respect. 

-luck of farm journals, printed 
The woodcut technique is "fool- 

To give substance, character, and weight to subjects which 
might otherwise not possess these qualities. 

To insure adequate reproduction in campaigns which are to 
appear very largely in farm journals and similar periodicals, 
printed on inferior grades of paper stock. 


To guarantee faithful and "life-like" showings of products 
which depend for their interest and their efficiency upon the 
amount of detail introduced. 

The fact that in the woodcut technique two major elements — 
l)l(MKling the artistic with the technically detailed and showing the 
minute points of mechanical, structural interest — may be com- 
bined is an incentive to its use under certain conditions. For 
many years, the advertising of Ford automobiles and tractors 
had been singularly crude, due, in no small measure, to the 
system w'hich made it arbitrary for each individual selling agent 
to create his own newspaper illustrations and copy. A change of 
policy dictated the surrounding of Ford products with more of 
a quality appeal. Their homeliness need not necessarily take 
the form of ugliness. Surely, an atmosphere of refinement could 
be created through art technique. 

The tractor, for example, belongs in the homely class. Hereto- 
fore, when pictured, the drawings showed the machine in its 
every element of detail. The spirit of the new regime of illus- 
trations was wholly different, although making a not too great 
sacrifice to the artistic. By employing a modified woodcut 
technique, every essential fragment of mechanical detail was 
brought out, in a manner calculated to satisfy the prospect who 
looked for just these essentials. But in the surrounding panora- 
mic investiture, in figures, in back-grounds, rich in romance, the 
unusual and refining influence of woodcut technique transformed 
a campaign once singularly commonplace. 

The Ford tractor, if it sold for ten time its present price, could 
not be surrounded by a more artistic atmosphere. The artist had 
raised it to high estate, commensurate with the service performed. 


Illustrations, from photographs or from original wash draw- 
ings, as used on the good paper of magazines, will not reproduce 
successfully in newspapers and farm journals; if transformed 
into pen and ink, they will inevitably lose. In this event what 
can the advertiser do? 

Great progress has been made in the production of coarse- 
screen half-tones for poor paper printing, but there is a long 
distance to travel, as yet and the hazards are innumerable. 

Pen-and-ink is, in itself, a delightfully artistic medium and it 
is an error to assume that any subject need lose its charm, its 
atmosphere, its aesthetic appeal, merely because the secondary 
campaign is to be rendered in this technique. It has happened, 
as a matter of fact, that pen reproductions have far exceeded their 
half-tone and wash originals, in the touches of delicacy and art- 
istry which are the aim of the conscientious production manager. 

Examples of the "before and after" school accompany this 
chapter and constitute a practical lesson in the artistic possi- 
bilities of the transition from one medium to another. But 
it can be no mere casual and mechanical process. If, as it some- 
times happens, the artist who painted the original is not used to 
pen-and-ink or dry-brush and is not qualified to make the second 
drawing, then another artist of equal artistic ability and judgment 
should be assigned to the task, and must be in complete sympathy 
with it. To look upon it as a mere second-rate assignment and to 
hurry it through without study or proper care is to encourage 
failure. There are two fundamental methods of producing a 
line copy from a half-tone illustration : one is to begin a new illus- 
tration, on drawing paper or board, traced from the original; the 
other is to use the silver print. Both have their practical virtues, 
but for the more satisfactory results, the former plan is by far the 

As a rule, original wash drawings for half-tone reproduction 
are made rather large. To trace them on a clean sheet of paper 




and to proceed with the pen copy would be, in all likelihood, to 
arrive at copy which suffers from too much reduction in the plate- 
making. An illustration in pen and ink or in dry brush might 
present a handsome appearance as it came from the artist's 
studio, yet reproduce miserably on poor paper or magazine stock. 
This great reduction tends to make detail fill-in, become con- 
gested and mussy. In the majority of cases, line illustrations are 
at their best w^hen the originals are not much larger than their 
final showing. 

But there is another reason why copies made on a clean sheet 
of paper, rather than over silver prints arc more desirable. The 

Fig. 17G. 

artist is somewhat handicapped in the silver prmt process; he 
can never feel quite at ease. He is conscious at all times of 
tracing his subject. In addition the character of the silver print 
means working in the dark. The pen traces over the complete 
subject, with all of its original values, and this leaves the artist 
not quite sure of what has been done until the print is bleached 
white with acid. It is unsatisfactory to work over a print after 
the bleaching, although it can be done, after a fashion. Such 
additions seem forced. 

Although the conventional pen techniques are possible on a 
silver print, the character of the smooth-surfaced paper prohibits 
any considerable use of the dry-brush technique, with all of its 



subtleties and intermediate shades. It would appear, then, that 
the best process is that of making an entirely new drawing on a 
paper or a board which is thoroughly receptive to the technique 

Ben Day tints can be mingled with the pen and ink, these 
tones suggested by varying strengths of blue paint, washed over 
the design, or on a tissue overlay. No attempt should be made 
to wash a blue tint on a dry-brush illustration where the original 
has been made in water-color black, because the drawing will 
smudge under these conditions. It is certainly inadvisable to 
cover every square inch of paper area with shading and tones, 
merely because the half-tone suggests this. Printability suffers. 

Fig. 177. 

If there are no generous areas of white space, then the artist is 
expected to devise them, although it may mean departing, to 
some extent, from his original. 

In an attempt to slavishly follow copy many artists are misled 
into impractical drawings which, while presentable enough in 
the original, will not show up attractively from electrotypes or 
even from original zinc engravings. The essence of a complicated 
composition in wash can be prepresented for newspaper or farm 
journal use, without adhering to every area of light and shade in 
the copy. The reduction of photographs to pen and ink is a 
more complex problem and requires even more skill on the part 
of the artist. 

It is dangerously easy to imitate the formal character of the 
camera's study. There can be little of the truly artistic in a pen 
drawing which bears every surface indication of being a tracing 
of a photograph. Such drawings are familiar to every newspaper 



office, and while thoir tochniqiies are occasionally unusual, they 
deceive only the misguided artist who blinds himself to the fact 
that there is no opportunity for originahty. 

Silver prints are rather generally used because they represent 
an economy. They can be produced quickly and with a mini- 
mum amount of effort. For some purposes, their use is, admit- 
tedly, an excellent idea. Where an advertiser has a number of 
outline illustrations to produce in pen and ink, of still-life subjects, 
for example, this method is advisable. It is an easy route to 
crisp, clean, detailed illustrations, where artistic effects are not 

This entire question of making half-tone subjects over for 
line reproduction has become an important one, in view of the 


P^IG. 178. 

modern science of advertising. It is acknowledged that a cam- 
paign should hold together and that its various units, in all 
mediums, should synchronize. Thus, the backbone of a series 
will probably be the magazine copy. These layouts set the pace 
for the entire campaign. The illustrations, very probably, will 
be elaborate, and ambitious, and by high-priced talent. They 
are conceived from some unifying thought, and as they run 
their course, they tell a story which is serialized at any rate to 
some extent. 

From these illustrations come the themes of other ramifi- 
cations of the campaign; they are rendered in color for posters, 
for street car cards, and for booklet and catalog covers. Finally, 
they are made into dealer electros for newspaper use or arc used 
in farm journal advertising. The advertiser may produce an 


elaborate newspaper campaign which he alone sponsors and in 
which the dealer plays no financial part. 

Repetition of the pictorial theme is not looked upon as a deter- 
rent. On the contrary, hammering away at a centraUzed idea 
is in line with an advertising virtue, now acknowledged. One 
campaign assists the other, and one series of advertisements 
works in harmony with another, in an entirely different list of 
publications. The family resemblance is beneficial. 

It therefore transpires that all of the designs used in a year, in 
magazines, are duplicated for these other purposes, and are 
finally reproduced in pen and ink or some medium which allows 
for line plates. 

As many as fifty of these subjects are apt to come through 
at a time. Where the advertiser is exacting, there may be 
several different sets of line drawings from the master original, 
one for newspapers, one for farm journals, with just a little more 
atmosphere and detail, and perhaps one for quite small bulletins 
to be used by department stores. 

It must be admitted, therefore, that the work is significant 
and deserving of the most careful study and expert considera- 
tion. The numerous examples shown on these pages make 
apparent to what an extent the advertiser has progressed in 
this direction. 

When placed side by side, the original in wash or as a photo- 
graph and the line duplicate, make possible the weighing of their 


A demand has sprung up for new art techniques in advertising, 
the advertiser himself being fully alive to the advantages which 
come with a distinctive art atmosphere, more or less exclusively 
his own and not to be confused with any competitor's display. 
If an advertiser of tires, in a study of the competitive field and its 
illustrations, finds that photographs, wash-drawings, and color 
are in the majority, he does well to decide upon an art medium 
and technique which is in every way a departure from these 

For many years, the limitations of engraving prevented the 
use of mediums which are now in general circulation, both on 
good and on the poorest of paper stocks. Pencil and crayon 
drawings are not fundamentally new, but their application to 
newspaper advertising, for example is new, for until a few years 
ago, no practical method of reproducing them had been achieved. 
There are few limitations now. What the artist produces, 
the engraver can reproduce, and with marvelous fidelity. 

One classification of the modern school is the ingenious employ- 
ment of a particularly sketchy and artistic medium which 
splits itself into a number of subdesignations. It is a technique 
which makes for free, illustrative, and altogether delightful 
effects. In the main, this method permits of spontaneity. 
The artist works with more freedom. The first interest in a 
picture is sustained. He operates much as when making a 
free-hand sketch. There is a vitality, an alert character about 
the technique which tends to depart from that which, in adver- 
tising art, is looked upon as conventional. 

Dry-brush. — A rough-surfaced paper or drawing board is 
used. It is porous and rough, and when the brush is drawn 
across its surface, there are intervening spaces of white. No 
line, unless definitely made so, is positive. There are l>roken 
edges and an artistic uncertainty. The artist uses a brush and 
water-color black. He may regulate his effects by the liquid 



(juality of the paint. If solids arc desired, then there is more 
moisture to the pigment; by keeping the pigment quite dry, the 
sketchy effects are produced. Although used much in news- 
papers and for other publications printed on a cheap grade of 
stock, some beautiful results are also secured for standard maga- 
zines. It is a technique which has successfully bridged the 
distance between the half-tone and the straight line illustration. 
Such drawings are at their best when not made considerably 
larger than their final reproduction. 

Fig. 179. — A particularly successful example of the sketchy dryhrush 
handling (greatly reduced). Such illustrations are made with a brush, in 
ink or lamp black, on rough-surfaced drawing board. 

Pencil. — The most subtle pencil originals are now successfully 
reproduced. Faint, delicate, and phantom-like effects are known 
to the engraver and no problem appears too great for him to 
solve, it being understood, all the while, that these subtle notes 
are for good printing and good paper. 

Any and all drawing boards and papers can be used although 
the more popular course is to employ a surface which has grain. 
This is more especially true of designs intended for reproduction 
on porous newspaper and farm journal stock. 

Because so many illustrators in their work for books and maga- 
zines use pencil techniques, advertising has sought it, feeling that it 
brings a new spirit to campaigns. Pencil drawings need never 
be commercial in the sense that they are palpably for advertising 
purposes. Where the pencil drawing is made for poor paper, it 
is always advisable to use the coarse-grained board. This means 
that line plates can be made, the tooth on the paper giving every 



To the men who build the Hupmobile, 
what the buyer thinks about the car dur- 
ing the sales demonstration is o( secondary 

What intensely interests these Hupmobile 
manufacturers, is the things the owner will 
say about his car one year, or three, or 
five ye^»^s, after he buys it. 

For 15 years, the best interests of the 
owner have been the chief concern of tbe- 
Hupmobile builders. 

This accounts — as nothing else could ac- 
count — for the literally amazing economy, 
the remarkable reliability, and the long 
life which make its owners so enthusias- 
tic about, and so loyal to, the Hupmobile. 

Hupp Motor Car Corporation, Detroit, Michigjui 


Fio. 180.- Dryhriish lochiiicnio, liaiKllcil in ;iii f)i)(Mi and .irti.stic manner, 
for farm journal, and thcrcfori' poor-paper It i.-< a i)ridKO iK'twcen rriido 
l)C'n and ink and lialftone.s, wliidi an; not so apt to print well. 


line a porous and protected surface. The illustration for coated 
stock can be produced with fewer exactions. Delicate, modu- 
lated tones can be held by the engraver. And the highlighted 
plate, which means a dropping of all whites as pure white in the 
cut, insures a perfect reproduction of the original. 

Sometimes a pencil series can be made to work into the spirit 
of a campaign. The manufacturers of a pencil, used largely by 

Fig. 181. — Happy application of the pencil-original sketch for a product 
which requires this technique a.s a part of the advertiser's story. A high- 
light halftone is essential to bring out all the subtle qualities of the illustration. 

artists and architects, sent an artist abroad, who took his sketch- 
book along with him. The various illustrations were used in 
conjunction with copy which called attention to the utilitarian 
advantages of the product for just this purpose. 

Crayon. — Crayons of all kinds are now used by artists in the 
production of advertising illustrations. Their advantage over 



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Fio 182.— Pencil throughout, relieved and softened by a most^ remarkable 
etching. Effective because the artist's original has been most faithfuUy repro- 
duced, even to delicate vignettes. 


the pencil is in a certain fluid quality and an intensity of blacks. 
Special grease crayons are also manufactured for this purpose. 
The drawing does not smear as easily as in the case of pencil 

FiQ. 183. — Crayon, on a rough-surfaced paper, with the result that all of the 
charm of the casual sketch is preserved. 

Fig. 184. — The freedom and unlabored results of illustrations such as this, 
handled entirely in charcoal or pencil or grease crayon, are welcome in an age 
of so many conventional half-tones. Although made for magazine reproduction, 
this drawing served equally well in newspaper campaigns. 

originals. In both classifications, the blowing over, with a special 
device made for the purpose, of "Fixitif " safeguards the original. 



Charcoal. — Charcoal drawings successfully produced on char- 
coal paper, which is so irregular and porous as to surface that 
something which approximates a pattern is obtained, are popular, 
and rightfully so, because they represent an individualistic 

Fio. 185. — A most effective reproduction from a page illustration employed 
by General Motors, in a serialized campaign. It is a combination of charcoal, 
crayon and wash, highly artistic and sparkling with animation. 

Combination Dry-brush and Half-tone. — The various exam- 
ples given permit, in every instance, of line reproduction. 
But it is possible to combine all of these mediums with a half- 
tone secondary technique. 

The dry-brush illustration can be reproduced by the half- 
tone process, with all over-over screen of any desired texture, 


and highlights cut out on the plate. Or a tint may be blown 
over the original with an airbrush. Some artists prefer to wash 
in their own delicate tones with a brush and water-color black. 
The same is true of the other mediums and techniques. This 
means no more than a softening influence which some occasions 




-^"^'lOOfc J^urc line. Jiroiii 

'j(£\MELS Hair Cloth 

Stroock pure Camels Hair Cloth is the ideal fabric for every 
type of outdoor apparel. 

Many sryles, weaves, desigris, colors, weights — 
all I007o pure, fine Camels Hair 

Fig. 186. — Plate made from an artistic pencil sketch and reproduced by the 
high-light process, which means dropping out of all whites, exactly as in the 

The result and technique, in any of the schools, is dependent 
upon the handling by the individual artist. And this means an 
ever-increasing variety of ideas, of effects, of techniques, and of 
artistic atmospheres. For many years, advertisers, in poor 
paper campaigns, were wholly dependent upon pen and ink. 
The above mediums bring a welcome touch of originality. 



It is told that one advertiser who had an aversion to advertis- 
ing illustrations, innnediately identified as such, studied the 
reading pages of magazines and reached a conclusion which 
altered the entire character of his extensive advertising and 
which, incidentally, gave it the success and the volume of sales 

inthn C^n^cli^n Pacific Rothies 

Why not YOU— astride a sure footed mountain pony — with all 
the joy of life — looking off over the Lakes in the Clouds to 
Chateau Lake Louise, a mountain height belowl Or, with zip 
and zest for unusual adventure, climbing a dizzy peak with 
Swiss guide, or playing golf on a mile-high course. Or, swim* 
ming in the warm Sulphur pool at Banff Springs Hotel. 

Canada Welcome* 
the United Stairs 
Tourist. No Pats 
ports Required. 

At Wnpta. Lake O'Hora, Yoho Valley. Emerald Lake. Mora 
Lake Windermere— at moderate rate«. New camps at Vermilion River and 
irlair Hot Sprincs. on the new Banff -Windermere Road -each a center 

for hiking or riding the 

a Garden of the Gu 


Fig. 187. — "Breezy" is the word which host fits the spirit of such dry-brush 
illustrations as this. The harsh technitiuc of tlie pen is subdued and a certain 
desirable freedom and subtlety of effect secured. 

heretofore missing. This campaign made a sensational appeal 
because it did not resemble advertising. It carried all the 
traditional atmosphere of a reading scries, and it was the illus- 
trative idea which did much to accomplish this. 

An artist, who had always ])ecn identified with pencil illus- 
trations and who was nationally known in this field made the 


pictures. They were entirely free from the customary little 
tags of commercial design. In another instance a set of illustra- 
tion scenarios was given to an artist who had not been connected 
with advertising in any way. He was not told that he was 
making them for advertising purposes and he therefore concluded 
that the drawings were for a series of stories. 

Fig. 188.— Showing how interesting contrast is secured, through the use of 
two contrasting mediums, the main illustration in free and sketchy pencil, 
the product in half-tone from a retouched original. 

It may be said of all originals in the pencil, dry-brush, charcoal 
and crayon school that considerable reduction is unsatisfactory. 
The congestion of lines, tones, and values detracts from the 
sketchy appearance which is one of their most prized attributes. 


Ben Day was the inventor of a process for introducing mechani- 
cal textures and tints into any type of illustration, either directly 
upon the metal, or on the original drawing. The process bridges 
over the gap between the "straight" line-drawing for poor- 
paper reproduction, and the half-tone, which might not repro- 
duce successfully because of porous stock and the exigencies 
of speedy, sometimes careless printing. 

It introduced a new technique, at once mystifying and intrigu- 
ing to the public and made possible mechanical precision where 
such exactness in shaded areas was necessary. It was, in fact, 
originally intended as a useful and attractive substitute for the 
too-fine shades and tones of the half-tone screen. 

Ben Day's idea was destined to last. Today it is employed 
for innumerable purposes. It is as adaptable for coated paper 
illustrations as for newspaper stock, and is invaluable in the 
making of color plates in line. It is an idea constantly being 
applied to new purposes. As with every other new idea, there 
have been vogues and periodical fads, and there have been years 
when so much Ben Day was utilized that it became a little 
tiresome. It is safe to predict, however, that this process is 
destined to have many years of additional service, since its prac- 
tical uses are so many and the substitutes so few. 

The basic idea is comparatively simple. Ben Day created an 
interesting variety of patterns and tints and textures, all of 
which were either substitutes for the half-tone screen, or inge- 
nious fill-in planes of color which it would require far too much 
time to fashion with a pen. In every case, they are patterns 
which can be reproduced by lino engraving. 

Some of these patterns resemble cloth, some suggest the grain- 
ing of wood; some are adaptations of the dots of a half-tone screen, 
some are intricately prefect tints produced by linos of varj-ing 
thicknesses; some arc grotesque patterns for spectacular effect; 









NewTfork Central 
to the West 

Qhe only route 
through, the wc» i- 
derfiu valley of 
the Hudson River 

Neu) York to Chicago 
tfie water level route 


ChLcmBO Expretl 

Th« Mohawk* 

No. Forry.One* 

Thf We«lertitr , 


10:00 •. 
LlMlTTD • 


r " f -Ti" ' 

Fig. 189. — "Magazine quality" given to a three-column newspaper display, 
mainly through the ministrations of Ben Day, which used as a background tint 
and texture, not only unified the display, but provided character. 



aiul still others are tones which merely represent a diversity of 
color in a drawing. 

They are reproduced on a gelatinous sheet, which is the secret 
of the idea, and these patterns represent raised surfaces. Ink 
is applied to them, by means of a roller, and the patterns are 
transferred with equal success to an original drawing or to a plate. 

In one process, there is no reduction to the pattern. It is repro- 
duced exactly as it appears in the Ben Day book. This is when 
the pattern is applied to the metal, direct. In the second process, 
the pattern is impressed on the original drawing and is subject to 

Fk;. 190. — A pen and ink outline drawing, ininR'a.sural ly assisted by flat tones 
of Ben Day, in two texture values, which bring out the white product and supply 
"atmosphere" to the entire design. 

reduction in proportion to the enlargement of the design. Ilarely 
is it safe to apply Ben Day to an illustration which is several 
times larger than its intended use. The reasons for this must 
be at once apparent. A pattern which may be exactly what is 
desired, when seen in the Ben Day book of designs, is not suscep- 
tible to any considerable reduction. It means a tightening up of 
the texture and proportionately decreased assurance of clear 
printing, particularly on poor paper. 

Ben Day tints are at their best when they are printed exactly 
as they are shown in the book. It is also obvious that a second 
reproduction process is certain to rob them of much of their origi- 



nal clarity. When the tint is printed on the plate, it is apt to 
reproduce crisply and to be unaffected by any of the exigencies 
of engraving, reduction, printing, or make-ready. 

The complete outfit for producing Ben Day is supplied to any- 
one who wishes to fulfil the terms of a special contract. For 
example, an individual or a department may secure the tools of 
its art with equal ease and its use is exceedingly simple, once the 
rudiments are understood. 

Fig. 191. — A sketchy pen and ink original, combined with one interesting 
Ben Day tint, to bring out the light effect. The entire area of the illustrarion is 
covered with this texture, with the single exception of the beam of light. 

There are separate pattern gelatine films, enclosed in frames 
which keep them taut and prevent them from shrinking warping, 
etc. there are ink pads and roller, a mechanical devise for holding 
the frames and the drawings or plate, and a variety of stilus 
instruments. The latter are employed by the artist who lays the 
tint. He presses them on the reverse side of the gelatine after 
it has been inked, and the raised surface makes the pattern. 

These impressions are made by instruments adapted to the 
needs of the drawing, from very open areas to the smallest spaces. 

Although the active principles of the Ben Day process are 
comparatively simple and practical, it is nevertheless necessary 
to observe certain well-defined cautions as follows : 

For poor paper reproduction, avoid the very fine textures. 


Where the actual area is limited, a coarse pattern is inadvisable. 

Do not select a pattern without scientifically analyzing the 
reproductive qualities, as applied to paper, printing, size of plate, 

Do not be misled by the beauty and the technical interest 
of many of the complex patterns, when the newspaper or farm 
paper illustration is being planned. There are sharp limitations 
in this regard. 

Do not use too many different patterns in a single illustration. 
One nullifies the effectiveness of the other and confusion of 
techniques results. 

Fig. 192. — So successful were the illustrations in this treatment, in news- 
papers, that the plan has teen carried out for the glazed paper of nKigazines. 
Absolute originality of technique was secured, as a contrast with the innumerable 
wash and photographic designs. The campaign has been of the highest order 
and represents the most skilful use of Ben Day tints used in conjunction with 
very artistic pen and ink originals. 

Select the pattern with an ej^e to the result which it is desired 
to attain. If, for example, cloth is to be simulated, there are 
special textures for this very purpose. 

Keep in mind that there are limitations in the matter of size 
of areas which can be successfully covered by some patterns. 
The frames are not of uniform porportion — some are smaller than 
others and to match Ben Day is an intricate and at times an 
almost mechanically impossible job. 

Ben Day tints are often dependent upon accompanying con- 
trasts which must appear in the original pen and ink illustration. 
It is possible to make of an outline, line shade drawing, a hopeless 
maze of massed color, if there are no contrasts. 



It is far too easy to be prodigal with Ben Day. A little goes a 
long ways. 

When Ben Day is used in connection with a wash drawing, 
more than ordinary care is essential, because of this urgent need 
of proper contrast. There can be confusion between the half- 
tone screen in the lighter tones and the stippled or dotted Ben 
Day patterns. 

Ben Day is at its best, when it is laid on an open, unob- 
structed area. It is better merely to indicate an outline and to 

Fig. 193. — A dry-brush and pen illustration at the base, filled in judiciously 
with several different patterns of Ben Day. They provide atmosphere, orig- 
inality of technique and artistic merit throughout. 

allow the texture a flat surface than to attempt to run a pattern 
over shading. 

If two Ben Day textures appear side by side, one should be 
darker than the other, or of a radically different pattern, although 
this is by no means a fixed rule. 

A novice need not be conversant with its practical use or appli- 
cation. If one texture alone is wanted, the expedient method is 
to paint that area in, in a delicate shade of transparent blue. 
(Blue does not photograph in line plate making.) Simply des- 



ignate the number of Ben Day pattern at the bottom of the 
drawing, with a swatch of the same blue. Or the blue may be 
placed on a tissue overlay. If several different textures are to 
be used, then various strengths of the blue are used, each one 
numbered to correspond with the desired pattern. 

It is seldom desirable — or safe — to attempt trick combinations 
by laying one pattern over another. 

Remember, always, that the Ben Day tint is used to achieve 
a certain, definite object, a certain effect. Select the patterns 

Fig. 194. — An interesting result secured t)y using two different patterns of two 
varying tones. An outline pen illustration immediately takes on new artistic 
merit — and ej'c-interest. 

Ben Day is almost always more useful and satisfactory in 
illustrations larger than one column in width. 

The artist who originates the illustration should designate 
the placing on the Ben Day tints. It is no assignment for the 
amateur nor should it be left to the engraver. 

The reasons for using Ben Day are varied. For the present, at 
least, its application is nearly always associated with the desire 
to produce a more interesting illustration, or one which, for poor 
paper reproduction, is made to take on a higher degree of atmos- 
pheric (juality than would be possible through the employment of 
the ordinary methods. 


There are sharp Hmitations when it comes to what will success- 
fully print on porous stock, whether in newspaper or in farm 
journals. The full-shade and intricately designed picture is 
never sure of an adequate result. But certain refinements are 
attained through the use of Ben Days which are sure and artistic. 

An ordinary drawing, in pen and ink, for example, might make 
a medicore showing and be considered commonplace, whereas 
the same drawings, treated with tints and textures of Ben Day 
would immediately take on fresh interest and individuality of 

The Ben Day tint supplies contrasts which are practical and 
which are different. The Ben Day tint creates zones of desirable 
texture which would otherwise require a too exacting work on the 
part of the artist, in cases demanding economy. 

Ben Day supplies a safe and a practical shading medium which 
will print and which is easily applied. An uninteresting original 
drawing is often made attractive, artistic, compelhng, because of 
the shrewd admixture of patterns, discreetly distributed. 

Nor is all this confined to illustrations which are used on poor 
paper. Magazine, book, brochure, and leaflet pictures gain by 
Ben Day's creative art. There are Ben Day tints which simulate 
cloth, the tone of a flat mass of sky, earth, the shadows of a 
brilliantly lighted composition, wood, metals, or any flat surface. 

An advertiser of a slate and a rough-surfaced roofing tried for 
many years to secure illustrations of his product for use in both 
newspapers and magazines and did not satisfactorily achieve it 
until the possibilities of Ben Day were pointed out to him. 
Formerly, it had been the artist's custom painfully to stipple in, 
with a pen, a semblence of the roofing texture. By the new 
process, the outline was drawn and the peculiar texture quickly 
and economically put in by the plate maker, with a Ben Day 
pattern. An advertiser of clothing for men and women has 
found that there are Ben Day textures which quite faithfully 
suggest the more prevalent patterns of popular fabrics. 

The use of Ben Day in the making of color plates is a subject 
in itself. Suffice it to say that tints of the full strength color are 
thus obtainable, and by overlapping of patterns, many blendings 
are possible, all from line engravings. 

The Ben Day book is a sort of Fairy Book, from which are 
drawn innumerable surprises. The use of Ben Day need never 
become trite. Its range is regulated only by the resourcefulness 


of the artist himself, who is the only one who should be permitted 
to designate its use. 

In every case where half-tone plates on poor paper are not 
considered safe, Ben Day comes to the rescue, a pleasing sub- 
stitute. It supplies individuality of technique, plus modifying 
and refining influences. 

Occasionally a protest is raised against Ben Day on the grounds 
that it is not practical for poor paper reproduction and that it 
will not print clearly, musses, fills in, and otherwise proves 
impractical. In every case, these faults are attributable to lack 
of judgment in applying the principles of the invention — for 
invention it most assuredly is, regulated by well-defined mechani- 
cal laws. If a Ben Day does not print clearly on poor paper stock, 
the chances are that a too fine pattern has been selected. 

Unquestionably, just as in the case of a half-tone, any consider- 
able congestion of dots or straight lines or any other close pattern 
will collect ink, and offer reproductive difficulties. Within its 
limitations, Ben Day is one of the most useful methods of com- 
mercial art and engraving. 


Humor may be the illustrative theme in advertising if it is 
humorous because of some idea or situation born of the subject 
which, in its rendering, is sound as to draftsmanship; or on the 
other hand, if the out-and-out burlesque serve, highlighted with 
the characteristic technique of the cartoonist. It is peculiarly- 
true of the "funny" advertisement, however, that it must not be 
permitted to fall into the amateur class. Humor which is forced 
and which leaves a sense of disappointment is the poorest of all 
advertising material. Such campaigns must be really funny and 
the drawings must spring from a thorough knowledge and an 
appreciation of the very spirit of subtle burlesque. The cartoonist 
is certainly born, not made. It is one of the highest forms of 
specialization. That the public is receptive to illustrations of 
this character is, of course, obvious. The comic strip has become 
a sort of national institution. To assume that such forms of 
advertising art are crude, primitive, undignified and having a 
tendency to cheapen the product is to deny a public whim which 
is universally distributed. The smile in advertising is an asset. 
The public laughs with the advertiser and his product, not at 

It is sometimes assumed that a product with a serious trend 
has no place in its advertising schedule for the fun appeal. 
There are on record the most convincing evidences of the opposite 
of such opinions. Advertisers, whose goods would appear to 
carry slight encouragement to the cartoonist, have suddenly 
swung wide of their existent dignity, and launched humorous 
campaigns which have been universally acclaimed. It is a 
natural reaction from long unbending. 

A product which is related to the construction of houses 
had been for thirty years advertised along certain set and serious 
lines. It had never occurred to the committee in charge of these 
programs to deviate in the slightest degree. 




But a small trade magazine series was started, as a mere inci- 
dental, and the manager in charge of a certain department was 
determined to "have a little fun," as he put it. The basic 
advertising ideas as well as the illustrations were of the comic 
variety. Nobody in the organization paid much attention to 
the small series, although there were intermittent mumblings 
of "undignified" and "calculated to cheapen the product." 

The results were surprising; more was heard from this trade 
paper campaign than from the combined campaigns for much 
more important space. Timidly now, the humor was put into 
an occasional standard magazine or newspaper advertisement, 

jjTfAj spr>t a-, ctnj siiiipiy of 


lived Ki Mu«i>chii>ctt< and difiJ 
wnulU Iroely imt Ar»e 


Fig. 195. — The advertiser had a Rreat many drug articles to advertise, one at 
a time being featured. Belie\'ing that the average person might not take much 
interest in these products, he hit upon the happy idea of asking familiar questions, 
which could be applied to the goods, and then answering them, with cartoons 
and copy. 

and now the advertiser is using the humor theme almost 

The applying of grotesque and rollicking art to the problem is 
the point where discrimination is required. It must be pat. The 
advertising of Planter's salted peanuts (a national campaign) 
had, for many years, confined its attention to quite serious argu- 
ments and to illustrations which were either of the still-life school 
or with human interest themes. 

With the starting of a new year, however, someone suggested 
that salted peanuts were a popular product and that the mood 
of the prospect was receptive to a lighter touch in the advertising. 
"Why be so confounded serious about it?" expresses the line 
of reasoning. 



The most startling and unconventional basic ideas were evolved 
when a nationally known cartoonist was called into the con- 
ference. A business office was pictured, with the chief executive 
munching peanuts, one of which had rolled off into a corner. 

The TsJi<cl<e'l*-»ol-i' THe ISJioRc^i Li^jncK 

Fig. 196. — Some products lend themselves quite naturally to the humorous 
handling. Thus, a popular-priced article, like salted peanuts, can afford not 
to take itself too seriously. Even the trade mark is a cartoon. One of a long- 
continued series and a very successful campaign. 

Clerks, office boys, stenographers, gravely posed bookkeepers 
and up-stage supernumeraries were all doing their best to stalk 
that lone ''goober." Or a picnic, and again a missing peanut, 
while father, mother, the guests, and the children turned things 



upside clown in frantic quest of the precious morsel. Thus, 
through an entire year of accumulative advertising, the cartoon 
took the place of conventional illustrations, and with every appar- 
ent success. If a basic idea for a series does not soon assert its 
power, the advertiser can change to something else. 

It is characteristic of the above campaign and similar accounts 
that while the illustration may be 100 per cent comedy, the read- 
ing soon swings into selling sense and merchandising logic. In 
other words, humor is not permitted to upset the apple cart and 

^r Vresidenf 

TstTlpC T«T^Tl^^Crk1 ^°" P^y ^^ bottom price 

tr**^**^^^ V JU*H ILrd9wJL ihtH you buy oU mined from purr ftnnsyham 


ftniuyhania Cradt 
iht higkett gnuU OH in At woiU 

W-^ZltZ.'. ii^H^^' "" ™' ' " ^ J 


Fig. 197. — Two advertisers, with a special story to tell, which admits of a 
touch of humor, not only in the illustration but in the copy, turn to a distinctive 
style of caricature which has shown itself to be popular. These advertisements 
orisinally appeared in magazine-page size. 

run roughshod down the advertising road. It is always tempered 
by "reason why." 

Where a product and the things which must be said of it are 
inherently serious and not calculated to make very alluring sub- 
stance for the average reader, the cartoon injects a sort of appe- 
tizing zest. It coaxes the indifferent pu])lic. 

It will be well to give a number of direct applications of various 
kinds to demonstrate just how specific advertisers have success- 
fully applied the tonic, and how apparently irrelevant fun has 
been brought in where there might appear no possible place for it. 


In each of these examples, some one form of applying humor 
is briefly described and the subtle reasons which have both 
inspired and legitimatized it. 

A special surfacing paper for buildings, the basic function of which is 
to keep out the cold of severe winters. The product is unsensational, 
commonplace in appearance, and any description of its advantages and 
composition are prosaic from the viewpoint of the casual reader of 

"For shivery houses" was made a typical headline. And the car- 
toonist draws a very funny little frame house, animated, with legs and 
arms and a face in the throes of a severe chill. Waved lines suggest that 
this forlorn habitation is shivering. 

Thus, as no more than one unit in the illustrating of the campaign, 
for there are more serious pictures in each advertising display, an invi- 
tation is held out and the eye attracted. By sundry adaptations of 
this central thought, a campaign which would otherwise be heavy is 
lightened, without offence and with a direct application to the subject in 

A refiner of automobile oil is desirous, for a connected campaign over 
a given period, to concentrate on the price question, it being obvious 
that if an article is of the highest possible quality, a higher than ordi- 
nary price for it, is, in truth an economy. But dollars-and-cents talk 
fails to provide anything striking in the pictorial line, and, in any event, 
the message is of such a character that it must strike out from the 
shoulder. A cartoon style, very much the vogue, is chosen, and head- 
lines devised which automatically provide the artist with his themes, 
such as: "Oil, $5 a quart." It is suspended from a country garage and 
a mob of motorists is storming the place. But they are funny little, 
grotesque little people, whole-heartedly in the spirit of fun. "Of 
course," relates the text, "it never happened." Nobody ever charged 
$5 a quart for oil. But many motorists who think they are paying only 25 
or 30 cents a quart are actually spending $5 a quart — when they count in 
the added repairs and depreciation resulting from the failure of their oil 
to protect their motors as it should." The body of the text, it should 
be explained is thoroughly dignified and serious. Only the cartoon is 
employed to stimulate interest at the start. 

A manufacturer of golfing equipment uses single columns in maga- 
zines to describe the various numbers of his line. There must be many 
small paragraphs. The same field is taking itself, at the time, very 
seriously. But golfers have a sense of humor. The opportunity is 
apparent. Down the long column, in the margin, there are sprinkled 
very funny httle golfers in a vein which must at once appeal to the lover 
of his course. And as the campaign progresses, it is at once seen that 
the series can be advantageously extended. 


A manufacturing druggist plans a campaign which will run in weekly 
magazines throughout the j^ear perhaps longer. Drugs, toilet articles, 
and sundries of an allied character must be featured, one at a time. 
But will the public take any great amount of interest in stories about 
iodine and disinfectants, and things which are housed in the medicine 
chest. Moreover, the series must have continuity. Each advertise- 
ment must come to be recognized by the public as one of a certain family. 
And as a "lead" the idea is evolved of asking questions which every- 
one has asked himself but which have not been generally answered. 
The physical unit of the heavy black question mark goes far in the 
direction of establishing a rememberable mark of identification. And 
each question is illustrated humorously with comedy pictures. People 
learn to look for them. The series is a fixture. 

A new insecticide realizes that the market is one stifled with keen 
competition. How, then, shall advertising, however, worthy the 
product, be made individual and given a distinctive character. Compet- 
itors have gone at their task seriously. There is just one untrammeled 
theme — humor and attendant cartoons as illustrations. Bugs are not 
very pleasant to look upon. Many of them are as repellent to picture as 
to read about. And so a cartoonist animates them, gives them personal- 
ities, and draws them in the most whimsical of situations. "Why," is a 
tj'-pical headline, "ask a bug to find and eat poison?" And this: "Even 
the little bug with the high forehead might be a grandfather before he 
found your morsel of poisonous powders or liquids." It is a plea, of 
course, for a spray, of a penetrating kind. The quaint little bugs wear 
gas masks, as they scent the product; they tumble and scamper out of 
its path. A spry leader seeks safe port with his field glasses. 

The ideal cartoon illustration, naturally enough, is the one 
drawn by a nationally known artist, whose style and method is 
distinctive and whose work will be at once recognized by the 
greatest number of people. The syndicate cartoonist, whose 
drawings appear in many newspapers, from coast to coast, is in 
demand, and properly so. 

Such cartoonists as Briggs, Goldberg, Ding, and Cooper, not 
to mention a vast number of others of equal note, were won over 
to advertising's need, by advertisers who saw the asset of a 
familiar name and a nationally accepted court jester. 

But the days of these cartoonists, save in a few exceptional 
instances, are numbered. They are popular during their brief 
regime and are, in turn, replaced by others for the public is fickle 
and each span of years has its cartoon vogue. 

A certain young artist created a distinctive school of humorous 
illustrations. These character studies were so absolutely unlike 



anything which had gone before, that they swept the country. 
The cartoonist's work could be found in practically all of the 
magazines. He was the rage. Perhaps one contributory cause to 
this popularity was the uncanny accuracy with which he caught 
the mannerisms and dress of the flapper and the young collegiate. 
Advertising was not slow to applj^ the cartoonists art to cam- 
paigns. The danger of such popularity, however, is obvious. 
A style is overdone. The same cartoonist yields to the blandish- 
ments of too many campaigns. 


♦ ♦ 


COUNTRY iVilM mw Yt«t 




Fig. 198. — Example of how the popularity of a nationally-known cartoonist 
is turned to good account by the advertiser. It just so happens that the familiar 
Briggs headline fits in with the mood of the advertiser's copy. 

Cartoonist Briggs created "When a feller needs a friend" 
and other serial slogans for humorous illustrations. And at once 
advertisers read parallels. The full force of the Briggs fame was 
set to work in behalf of a nationally exploited product. 

In a somewhat similar way, the exceptionally unique and 
characterful comics of F. G. Cooper, first appearing in magazines, 
were drafted to the ranks of advertising. Their imaginative 
quality was such that they have managed to survive for many 
years and house organ editors revel in them. 

One advertiser with a flare of individuality had a school child 
make crude straight-line drawings with which youth, in amateur 
mood, expresses the pictorial. They were intended to be serious 
and were proportionately droll. 



At the inception of a year's campaign, an advertiser of under- 
wear found that the most valuable peg upon which to hang 
his series was a "two buttons on the shoulder" slogan. In this 
regard, the garment was different from others. But would any- 
one pay nuich attention to a talk about buttons? But people 
did, when a cartoonist animated those two buttons and started 
them off on a jolly frolic. 

But humor in advertising, as has been said, divides itself into 
two very sharply defined classifications. The cartoonist has 

Fig. 199. — Radio taken not too seriously by an advertiser of equipment, who 
employs a nationally known cartoonist to interpret the joy of the wireless 

nothing in common with the artist whose comedy in an illustra- 
tion arises rather from the situation, the story, the circumstance, 
than from the manner of the technique, the draftsmanship. It 
is generally conceded that roughshod fun is nowhere near as 
serviceable for advertising purposes, as mellow humor, skilfully 
drawn and entirely dependent upon an intensely human story. 
There will always be room for both, and both serve two totally 
different masters and markets. The audience which guffaws at 
burlesque will not be attracted to a Shaw comedy. The man who 
smiles with Mark Twain will not care for Ilapiiy Hooligan. 


A superintendent of schools has made the interesting assertion 
that modern advertising has accomphshed as much, in giving 
the younger generation a well-grounded knowledge of history, 
as the classroom. 

To quote him: 

Advertising today has touched upon almost every phase and feature 
of history. And it has accomplished it with such tact, such a wonderful 
illustrative background, that, perhaps unconsciously, the reading public 
has been coaxed into wanting to learn everything there is to know on 
the subject. 

Many of our pupils go through newspapers and magazines and clip 
all advertisements which have historical themes, and these are made into 
voluminous scrapbooks. The most casual study of these books is proof 
sufficient that the advertiser is performing a dual service. History has 
been made more palatable, I imagine, than the history of the schoolroom. 
There is no apparent attempt to moralize or to "teach." These his- 
torical themes are colorfully introduced. From the earliest dawn of 
civilization, down to our present time, no period seems to be neglected. 
It is a vigorously helpful influence. Moreover, others than chi'dren 
have "brushed up" on their histor3^ 

Entire campaigns have been based wholly upon the historical 
idea, and the illustrations accompanying them are, of necessity, 
unconventional and, in a number of cases, highly dramatic. 

The subject is of importance here because of its innumerable 
ramifications and the as yet untouched treasures of adventure, 
sentiment, and romance. But any advertising artist who delves 
into history must be cautious and truthful. The slightest 
departure from fact will call down the wrath of students of history, 
who know the right from the wrong and who look upon any devia- 
tion, however, slight, as something close to sacrilege. 

It should be set forth immediately, therefore, that historical 
illustrations must be based on a sound knowledge of costumes, 
incidents, places, and races. Nothing may be taken for granted 



and no detail "faked up." Any advertising illustration which is 
subject to criticism for historical inaccuracy is not a good 
advertising illustration. 

But there need be no doubt in such matters. Every museum 
and library is a storehouse of authent ic material. There are books 
which visualize all that is and can be known of the dim and shadowy 
long ago. The artist is merely called upon to investigate and to 
supply himself with working data before he attempts any illus- 
tration, which, by its very character, will be critically scrutinized 
by thousands of persons conversant with any subject handled. 

Twelve representative campaigns are described herewith, as 
showing how the historical motif can be put to accumulative 
serial use. The most popular excuse, by far, has been that 
of the accredited age of the firm advertising. Its traditions go 
back to such and such a period, and by this means, the modern 
generation is made aware of the firm foundation upon which the 
product is built. In practically all of the campaigns herein 
described, the history theme has been used in a connected series, 
each advertisement taking up some one episode which could be 
properly related to the article and its arguments. 

1. The Brunswick-Balke-Collender Company, Makers of 
Billiard Tables and Equipment. — The campaign of closely related 
pages sought to reawaken popular interest in the game itself, 
which seemed on the point of dying down a bit. Moreover, the 
advertiser sought to correct a misconception of biUiards which 
had always retarded sales. A surprising number of people look 
upon the game with suspicion and disapproval, as being allied 
with the pool room atmosphere. Every advertisement in the 
series not only illustrated the modern player, as seem at clubs 
or in private homes but also made a feature of a parallel picture 
drawn from history. 

It is said the game of billiards was introduced to both France and 
ICngland when the Knights Templar returned from their first or second 
Crusade in the Holy T^and. 

This brief paragraph permits the artist to draw a colorfully 
interesting picture of the costumed days of long ago, the knights 
on horseback and the cheering crowds. This campaign has 
linked its product with a long list of historical incidents. 

2. The C. R. Wilson Body Company, Manufacturers of 
Automobile Bodies. — A representative picture shows a war 



chariot of the reign of 
conquerer of Babylon, 
grim war. In fact, the 
brought back the varied 
introduced atmosphere 
conventional. As each 
emphasis is placed upon 

Tiglath Pileser I, king of Assyria, and 
It is a pageant of pomp and splendor and 

entire list of magazine illustrations has 
canvases of other periods and has thereby 
which could depart radically from the 

age is visualized in etching technique, 
the vehicular ideas of those days. 

The advertiser states the ornate war chariot of Tiglath Pileser I, 
seemed the height of wheeled splendor and glory. But all the king's 

Swift & Company, U. S. A. 

Fig. 200. 

Left.- — Persistently, through an entire campaign which has taken on the spirit 
of a history of all America, Swift & Company find ingenious advertising parallels. 

Right. — The Prudential departs from average illustrations and copy themes, 
in order to use the historic as a background. A student of the ages has dis- 
covered a fine series of business lessons. The pictures were in full color, "book 

horses and all the king's men could not give him a fraction of the comfort 
and luxury built into modern coachwork by Wilson craftsmen. 

3. Swift & Company, Packers. — Every great industry is 
apparently compelled, sooner or later, to explain, defend and 
demonstrate its position. It is a public habit to question the 
motives of national business institutions, as soon as they reach 
sizable proportions. In the case of Swift & Company, a campaign 



was designed to compare quietly and impressively modern condi- 
tions in the meat business with conditions which existed long 
ago, and by so doing, impress upon people the things which system 
and modern business have made possible. History, therefore, 
as an advertising background was a matter of legitimate, subtle 
reasoning. Canvas after canvas appeared during the period of 
this campaign, all of them studiously correct as to detail and 
invariably filled with dramatic interest. An old paddle wheel 
steamer of the river type, taking on passengers and cargo; 
Robert Cavelier de la Salle, discovering a new France in the 


This will be the Gate of Empire, 
■ this the Seat of Commerce " 

Swift & Company. U. S. A. 



Fig. 201. — Another picturesque example of how Swift & Company has made 
history's impressive pages assist in embellishing an instructive campaign. 

Mississippi Valley ; ragged soldiers of Revolutionary days, crouched 
around their camp fire during the bitter days and nights of 
Valley Forge: these and innumeralilc other pictures have been 
unrolled for the public, illuminated by dignified text which in 
every case, drew the contrast already mentioned. Consider 
the last-named theme, for example: 

Although the land for wliich thoy fought abounded in supplies, gaunt 
hunger, amounting at times to famine, dogged the marches of the soldiers 
of the Revolution and brooded about their long encampments, for seven 
heavy years. 


There was enough beef, pork, mutton, in the Colonies to meet all their 
needs, but no established way of getting it to them; no system, no organ- 
ization, no centralized depots; only scattered, uncontrolled and unrelated 

Farmers brought their cattle to villages and towns when they wanted 
to. Herdsmen drove the animals off to the nearest front, where they were 
dressed on the spot and consumed at once. Little local butchers drib- 
bled pork, ham, and bacon into camp intermittently, with no regard to 
regular, steady needs. When the army stayed long in one place, it 
drained the district. Civilians had to go without. 

And from this point on, the text compares the methods of those 
days, with the system and orderly conduct of this generation, 
even when a great war is in progress. 

4. Colgate and Company, Cashmere Bouquet Soap. — The 
spirit and traditions of the product date back to the period when 
samplers and flower water colors were the fashion and when hair 
was worn up and skirts were worn down. The very name 
suggests quaintness and spinning wheels, and a campaign was 
planned, therefore, which should provide exactly this charming 
atmosphere. The people and the customs of the era come to 
life in delightful full-color illustrations, many of them by the 
noted artist, Arthur Rackham. 

5. The Prudential Insurance Company of America. — By link- 
ing certain historical episodes with the business of insurance, a 
thoroughly original campaign, covering one entire year, was 
unfolded. It differed from those just mentioned, however, in 
that a humorous turn was given both to pictures and text. 

If there was one ancient Athenian who was in hot water all the time 
it was Pericles. His troubles seemed to be in living a thousand years 
before his day. And in a day when folks still believed in Olympian 
Gods, dragons, flying horses, this was some trouble. 

Pericles was the first real man with a vision. He peered into 
the coming centuries; but he couldn't get his neighbors to peer 
with him. Every once in a while he would stop peering long enough to 
win a war or two and then he would be carried about on his countrymen's 

But the next day some rival would say Pericles had done wrong in 
fighting and down would bump the hero. Then a week, or two afterward, 
he would be empowered to build a Parthenon or Acropolis, and when he 
would get about half way through another jealous adversary would 
kick about the cost. 



Man's first 

—ami liii latest! 


TmlM, i 

lillilson built ^odij 

# The First Western Migration 

■ wrr.r ^--":; -■ • - ■ ■ 

Swift & Company. U.S A. 

Fig. 202. 

Upper Left. — A comparison, aptly made, between "Man's Roof" and 
the modern methods. Campaigns of this typo permit the advertiser to "get 
away from the monotony of conventional illustrations." 

Upper liight. — Characteristic of a notable series. The modes of travel 
of historical days are pictured, one by one and with painstaking skill. It is 
shown that the modern motor car overtops them all. 

Lower Left. — Swift & Company conducted for more than a year a remarkable 
campaign, wherein was depicted the historic Ijackground of America; its grim 
suffering and its heroic sacrifices. Yet it all interlocked with a legitimate 
busiiu'.ss message. 

Lower liiyht. — The very name and character of the i)roduct invites the use of 
quaint costumes and the art atmosphere of delicately fragrant days of romance. 
This beautiful canvas, original in full color, is by the noted artist, Arthur 


"Pericles is wasting your money," would be the cry in the 
market place and a million or so Greeks would hasten to the door of 
Pericles' home and threaten him with tar and feathers. 

"All right," he would reply to the onslaught, "let the cost go not to 
your account but to mine, and let the inscription on the Parthenon stand 
in my name as a living heritage to my wife and children." The glory of 
his great work soon soothed the multitude and he was allowed to proceed 
and leave to us a world-marvel of architecture. 

And now, at the very end, the moral, the lesson, the real excuse 
for the illustration: 

The last years of his life were the hardest. He worked out a Family 
Budget, the first in history, perhaps, and again the men of Athens com- 
plained when he suggested they all try it. 

"It is as it is," said Pericles, and added, "while I am here my family is 
safe; when I am gone they cannot live on my work alone." 

Is there not a life insurance point to this? Is it sufficient for any man 
to leave only a reputation for greatness? 

Also in full color, these Prudential pictures, although irre- 
proachable as to constuming, character study, and background, 
are given a slight humorous quality which makes them all the 
more relishable. 

6. Towle, Manufacturer of Silverware. — During the popular 
regime of plated ware, this advertiser wished to impress upon 
people tlie value and the historic traditions of solid silver. In 
a connected series, a campaign traced back the lure of pure silver 
to its very inception, back to primitive man, discovering silver 
in his cave home, and on through the ages, until, at the end of the 
series, the modern household and atmosphere was introduced. 

7. Balding Brothers & Company, Silk Fabrics, Embroidery and 
Spool Goods. — Women were to learn of the historic legends of 
silk and of the part it has played in the passing of the ages. 
Imagine an illustration based on this text: 

The Florentine merchant guaranteed his silks with his personal safety. 
When Lorenzo the Magnificent ruled in Florence, noblewomen chose 
their gowns from silks displayed by command in their private apart- 
ments. The prosperity and even the personal security of tradesmen 
depended upon the favor of these powerful patrons. The Florentine 
merchant may be said to have guaranteed, with his life, the quaUty of his 




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u.r41.icr .1 q^jlity 

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^Jabncs. 6mhrmckni. S/hxjISiII^ 

On this old balcony 
Washington was niadf president 

NEXT to Independence Hal! in Philadilphia stands 
the Uaidly Ic^s famous Congress Hall. One of th« 
t( 3tures of Ihc latter huildme is .i balcony of wrought 
iron, as simple -and unpretentious as the edifice it* 
adorns. But many arc the great events this little 
ba)rony has seen in its long life, among them being 
Washington's second inauguration as President. 

Tunc has trcjite<1 kir.dly lhi» b«>cvny which it uUlcr than the 
i.Miiod Stuic* of Aineric* A century iv\d a half of itonn and 
ill have left f«w tracet to nw»rk the posaine <if -Uie yean. Nor 
1- this Ntranse when we rcraembcr ihe ruat-misltng qtuilitiet of 

A--<iK>»t -.ron. 

li v;>cafyinE Reading GciiumeWroufthl Iron Pipe, the Uierknowt 
>'• he u ertline « lti»tinK pipe at reasonable eott. At not much 
I- r- than the price af steel pipe. RepitinK givti item n*-.> t^- tlirce 
iKs longer »cfviet—lwoor three times 
, ) '. ^ter prulect-on attainit Icuks that will 
-Dioly meiin citpenvive repairt and tn»y 
-. j-.iU ill wrious property damage. 

Fig. 203. 

Left.- — ^The serialized lii.storical series has been followed l)y a .silk house, in 
order to add point to a modern method of being very sure as to the (luality of the 
product and its selection. 

liiahl. — Ordinarily, any illustration connected with a product such as wrought 
iron, would not carry allurement to the average reader. But by showing how 
wrought iron has hi.sietl through many generations, the Reading Company gives 
its advertising inviting warmth and color. 


And how nicely is the historial theme woven with the modern : 

Well-dressed American women of today choose their silks in groat 
shops far from the weaving looms. The personal responsibility of the 
medieval guildsman is replaced by the good faith of the modern 

8. Associated Furniture Manufacturers of Grand Rapids. — A 

series combining today and historical periods in the matter of 
craftsmanship and price taken in various lines of work. In every 
individual piece of advertising, the strongest foreground pictorial 
theme shows a Grand Rapids specialist, an artisan, at his modern 
tasks. And the background theme, faint, hazy, atmospheric, 
takes up crafts which are centuries old: 

Centuries ago, when haughty Venice ruled the Seven Seas, the fame of 
her marvelous glass makers was as far reaching as her own. To possess 
an exquisite bit of Venetian glassware was the boast of princes. She 
was as famed for glass as Damascus for swords or Bagdad for rugs. She 
had joined that proud roll of cities whose workmen knew how to do one 
thing supremely well. 

And Grand Rapids, it is pointed out, belongs in this same 
classification. The illustrative features of such a series may well 
be imagined. 

9. Reading Iron Company. — A series of historical interest and 
power, based wholly on the idea of generations of wear. The 
artist paints the memorable scene of Washington surrounded by 
his admirers, on a quaint old balcony: 

On this old balcony Washington was made President. Next to 
Independence Hall in Philadelphia stands the hardly less famous Con- 
gress Hall. One of the features of the latter buildmg is a balcony of 
wrought iron, as simple and unpretentious as the edifice it adorns. But 
many are the great events this little balcony has seen in its long life, 
among them being Washington's second inauguration as President. 
Time has treated kindly this balcony which is older than the United 
States of America. A century and a half of storm and sun have left 
few traces to mark the passing of the years. 

And an insert pictures the old wrought iron balcony as it 
appears today. 

10. Stephen F. Whitman & Son, Candy Makers. — This is a 
Philadelphia institution, and one of its most precious adver- 
tising assets is its memorable record over a long period of years. 
It is rooted in history, indeed. There are pages, sketchily 



rendered in pencil and reproduced by means of the highlight 
half-tone process, showing the coaches and quaint streets and 
attractive costumes of the days that are past forever: 

In Society since 1842. We like to think that the growth of Whitman's, 
from the little shop in Philadelphia in the time of President Tyler, is 
due to the bed-rock devotion to quality, on which this business is founded. 

From the fair shoppers in 1842, drawn in quaint Victorias, who called 
at the Whitman shop, it is a far cry to the thronging tliousands who now 

Fig. 204. 

Left. — A serial story in pictures was used by this manufacturer to relate the 
highly dramatic story of silver, from man's first discovery of it, down to the 
modern time. 

Right. — The combining of two themes — ancient and modern, in an admirable 
historic series. The foreground subjects present the modern worker, while the 
backgrounds are based upon historic craftsmen and their specializations. 

buy Whitman's in every town in America. In stage coach days, folks 
from New York, Boston, and Richmond always took home Whitman's 
when they visited Philadelphia. 

Single advertisements, each an independent unit, are just 
as interestingly based upon some historic scheme. A modern 
roofing may compare its product with "Man's First Roof," a 
cave in the rocks, hollowed by the drip of ages, the damp stone 
as a ceiling; or a manufacturer of an electrical product may as 
easily have a canvas made of the primitive fires of ancient Rome, 
the fires of the African native, the burning torches of strange 
oriental races, now but a memory. 


Photography in commercial illustration has made rapid strides 
chiefly because of the advertiser's urgent demand for intensive 
realism. That a photograph does not exaggerate and that it 
brings absolute conviction summarizes this demand. Drawn illus- 
trations permit of "faking" and of calculated misrepresentation, 
if the advertiser seeks subterfuge. Professional photographers 
smile at the thought that the camera cannot lie. For so expert 
have they become that as much license may be taken with the 
camera as with the pencil, pen, or brush. 

There are numerous technical ways of arriving at superimposed 
negatives, double-exposures, patching on the plate, retouching 
which defies detection, trick perspectives, and a manipulation 
of subjects in making copy. One advertising design may, in 
other words, be made of remnants of several separate prints. 
A man with his head in the clouds can be made to stride down a 
miniature street, yet both are photographic and it is impossible 
to find where the dovetailing has been achieved. Indeed, com- 
mercial photography, in its modern application to advertising, 
is a theme worthy of a volume in itself, and no more than a few 
interesting developments and generalizations are attempted here. 

The camera comes to the aid of the advertiser, as a bringer of 
verities and realities. The public, many advertisers believe, 
trusts the illustration which is obviously a slice of real life. The 
marked popularity of rotogravure sections with their panoramic 
cross-sections of the passing human show has, to a degree, 
increased the value of camera studies for commercial purposes. 
Once the drama of the days was interpreted by the artist by 
means of sketches "drawn on the spot." The modern idea is 
realism and photographs of news events. 

The suggestion has been made that before long, photographs 
will be used almost exclusively for advertising purposes. Whereas 
photographs are invaluable for certain purposes, any too general 




use of them would prove monotonous, just as the employ nient of 
any one technique or any one medium would strip advertising of 
the individuality which is essential to its success. 



C this trade mark is an assurance otgooO 

Icookinq.ijooO hakiiuj. enOurinq service 

a lu^ thorough satisfaction "Wear-Ever" 

metal is not only thick hut rcnuvkahhj hard 


Aluminum Cooking Utensils 


- / 


Fig. 205. — Just to prove that so ronmienial .a suhjcct as a man iioiiiting at a 
product can be given artistic merit. 

The commercial photographer has perfected numerous valuable 
techniques, which bring to campaigns individual qualities of 
art. By expert vignetting and retouching, some photographs are 



made to take on many of the attributes of original drawings. 
There are soft and highly artistic compositions, and so subtle 
in their atmosphere that they vie with the painter and his canvas. 
The camera is in the modern sense somewhat of an artist, under- 
taking the most ambitious combinations of effects. Many studies 
baffle detection as photographs. 

mi^^sms^xM-c. ,-^T^s^^s-zi:: ^^.mssmmai 

^ . '/h i^/'urpUUs^ahei cV^lattrcss 

Fig. 206. — A very beautiful example of the uncommercial photograph. 
Models skilfully selected and lighting made to serve a most artistic turn. It 
is almost a "painting." 

The photographer paints with his camera. By his 
resourcefulness and his ambitious research work he has thus digni- 
fied his profession. As much preliminary work takes place 
today in the making of a photographic illustration of the better 
kind as in the production of an original canvas. The studio 
specializing in commercial photography is a place of many mar- 
vels. Here are assembled accessories which enter into the pro- 
duction of art prints of every imaginable character. 



In a sense, it is not unlike a motion picture studio or the place 
where props are stored for theatrical enterprises. On short 
notice, almost any required atmosphere may be secured. 
Arrangements are made with large department stores whereby 
some props are secured for the time necessary to make the illus- 
tration. A kitchen interior is required. For this there are 

"What a whale of a difference 
just a few cents make!" 

r — all the difference 

iH-twccn just an ordinnry ci);areiie 
and— lATlMA. ilie most skillful 
bti-ud ill cig.ircttr history. 

Fig. 207. — Model so posed that a postery shadow is thrown against the wall, 
thereby Riving the effect of an original drawing. The camera made to do 
the work of an artist. 

painted backdrops of certain details or actual woodwork and 
walls, and only a kitchen cabinet of recent design, a gas stove, and 
a set of cooking utensils perhaps need to be collected. 

The range of requirement is as wide as there are subjects, from 
the reception halls of a palace to a farmhouse pantry. Just as 
a motion picture art director would assemble the materials for 



a set, so does the modern commercial photographer keep informed 
on possible markets for supplying his accessories. 

In the making of still-life studies, the art of photography has 
reached its highest degree of efficiency. A bottle of listerine side 
by side with a sliced onion can be made beautiful by scientific 
lighting. But no passive photographer could arrive at such 
results. The new type of camera artist is first the artist and 
then the technician. He plans effects. His brush is the lens 
and his pigment light. 

How an advertiser should go about achieving these better 
results for a campaign is to be illustrated by the camera. The 

Fig. 208. — If there is one thing the modern advertising i^hotographer under- 
stands, it is the value of artistic backgrounds and accessories. The loaf of 
bread and its sliced pieces is made into a "painting." 

most common practice and certainly the safest is to have a rough 
pencil sketch made of the subject material and its grouping, as 
it applies to the advertising story and the arbitrary space to be 
used. The photographer works from this floor plan, but need 
not slavishly follow it. It may serve only a practical hint, 
in order that he may not deviate too far from what is called for 
by the space and by the copy. 

Then again, the same result can be obtained by calling the 
photographer into conference and discussing with him the idea 
which. is sought. That he will work most successfully when his 
personal ideas are not thumbed down is obvious. He will more 


than likely think of compositions and accessories which the 
advertiser has overlooked. 

The product, rather inartistic in itself, where a still life is 
wanted, can be made to appear alluring through the use of correct 
background material. This association of ideas and tangible 
assets in the way of art props is beneficial to the product. 

Fig. 209. — Some very ingenious results are obtained with the camera as this 
unique illustration for underwear fabric proves. Model and retouching on the 
plate give an effect ocjual to the imaginative artist's most resourceful results. 

Lighting becomes a paramount consideration, A shadow, a 
reflected high light, a deepened value, or a mingling of soft tones- 
may mean the difference between rank conuncrcialism and the 
delightfully artistic. And to arrive at these resuhs the studios 
are equipped with batteries of artificial lights so rigged that any 
desired angle or concentration of ray can be secured. There 
are colored screens as well, as in motion picture photography, 
which produce reflected lights or intensify direct lighting. The 
paraphernalia, therefore, is complicated and the mechanical 



exactions many. Since so much of this work must be produced 
indoors under artificial Hght, the assignments often call for 
a superior knowledge of many elements apart from the camera 

Commercial photography now utilizes character models for 
human interest illustrations. One studio has a roster of over 1,000 
names, and few of these are of the so-called professional model 
type. An advertiser must show the photographic study of a 
policeman, a fireman, a puddler from a steel foundry, a newsboy, 
a politician, a tramp, a pretty little girl, a brickmason. In the 

Fig. 210. Only a hand and a door, l.iii \<y skilful manipulation, the photog- 
rapher has given the effect of an original painting. 

old days it was customary to costume the professional model, 
and let it go at that. 

The modern idea is less superficial. These characters, one and 
all, are drawn from real life and pose unaffectedly before the 
studio camera. It is this lack of affectation which makes such 
types convincingly real in the advertisement. 

The policeman finds time away from his beat to enter into the 
spirit of a certain story. The little girl in a dainty white party 
dress is no professional model, but a child from an average home. 
The stonemason gives to the campaign the individualism which 
bis life work has engraved in his face and figure. These char- 



acter studies no longer have a stilted and artificial look, for the 
very reason that they are genuine. 

As an impressive instance of how the modern commercial pho- 
tographer operates, a manufacturer of radio receiving sets posed 
models, in a series of scenes, who were "listening in" on radio 
programs and the camera was concealed. 

No worse thing can be said of a photographic illustration than 
that it looks posed. For then it actually defeats its own most 
important purpose. The reader is conscious of an artificially 
manufactured picture, posed and primped for the specific purpose 
of selling goods. This atmosphere should never creep into the 
campaign which is illustrated by means of the photograph. 

Fig. 211. 
Left. — The Kodak very properly creates its own advertising illustrations. 
Right. — Who would suppose that an onion and a bottle of Listcrinc could be 
made into an altogether charming photograph. 

The reader of an advertisement does not react favorably to a 
message when it is too apparently commercial. The trick photo- 
graph is always interesting and often quite inexplicable to the 
person who is unfamiliar with what has gone on, back of the 
scenes, to arrive at certain results. 

An executive is shown at his desk — a man, camera perfect in 
every detail. On the blotter pad before him stand a dozen or 
more tiny figures. They are in miniature, but they are also 
photographic as to art technique. The man at the desk looks 
down at them, studying them with analytical care. It is an 
illustration which has to do with the selection of employees. 
Here is a giant among Lilliputians, all in one photographic print 
and presented with startling realism. How is it accomplished? 

There are several methods, but perhaps the easiest is to patch 
separate prints. The studies are taken at different times and 
under different circumstances, although a common lighting 



scheme may have been followed in order to keep the composition 

The print of the man at the desk is mounted. Then the small 
figures are silhouetted with knife or scissors, the edges of the 
paper bevelled, and the group mounted in with paste or rubber 
cement in any position desired, A minimum amount of retouch- 

FiG. 212. — A hat advertised, but the character study, as interpreted by the 
camera man, overtops it, and the entire illustration becomes a most artistic 

ing provides copy which, when the plate is made, defies the most 
critical and exacting eye. It has the appearance of having been 
made all at the same time. A like result may be achieved by 
double exposure. 

It is acknowledged that the camera is often too literal. Studies 
of automobiles, for example, may look short and stubby in a 


camera study and therefore make poor advertising material. 
The expert retoucher cuts the print in two parts and dehberately 
fills in an area to overcome this objection and the eye fails to see 
what has been done. When the study of a man for a clothing 
advertisement has this same defect, patching overcomes it. 

It is to be understood, therefore, that photography as applied 
to advertising permits of numerous essential tricks. Nor have 
the possibilities been more than touched upon. Just as the artist 
seeks and finds new techniques, so is the commercial photographer 
constantly elaborating his profession by experimentation. 

The advertiser is impartial; he may use a camera series one 
season and original illustrations the next. Often a basic idea for 
a campaign demands the camera because of the realism for which 
it is, and always will be, famous. 


Acceptance of sketches, 6 
Accessories, 214 
Accidental effects, 133 
Action, 56, 215 

Actual-size reproductions, 10, 212 
Adopting art mediums, 26 
Adventure themes, 55, 196, 216, 220 
Advertising characters, 162 
Air-brush, 58 
Allegories, 175, 177, 182 
Animating the inanimate, 168, 175 
Arbitrary forms, 153 
Art themes for series, 272, 281 
Association of ideas, 182 
Atmosphere 30, 146 
Attention-compellers, 54, 176, 179 


"Backdrops," 149 

Background accessories, 146 

Backgrounds, general, 151, 152 

Balanced compositions, 12 

Ben Day combinations, 32, 284, 287 

Ben Day, general information, 269, 

Birdseye views, 110 
Black as an asset, 103, 107 
Borders, 72, 81, 138 
Borders that tell a story, 73 
Bringing the product to life, 170 

Commonplace products made inter- 
esting, 22 
Composition, 12, 13, 20 
Concentrating attention, 169 
Consumer viewpoint, 25 
Continuity, 34, 40, 307 
Contour, 80 

Contrast, 92, 123, 128, 204, 286, 289 
Copy "slant," 238 
Cost of illustrations, 14 
Counter display compositions, 87 
Counter display value, 210 
Crayon drawings, 272, 275 


Danger themes, 218, 221 
Designing the advertisement, 6 
Detail, 9, 244, 254 
Directing the eye, 61, 62, 205 
Display value, 213 
Distinctiveness, 242 
Dominant idea, 38, 204 
Dominating the space, 20 
Dry-brush technique, 272, 274, 280 


Economies, 11 

Ehminating the non-essential, 132 
Emotional appeal, 235 
Emphasis where needed, 50 
Enduring ideas,' 233 
Engraving, 26, 154 

Cartoons, 291, 294, 296 

Chalk-surfaced drawing board, 259 
Character study, 224, 315 
Charcoal technique, 277 
Childhood studies, 57, 66, 177, 234 
Combination plates, 59, 281 


Facial expressions, 49, 56, 221, 225 
Fact themes, 221 
"Family resemblance," 31, 34, 271 
Farm journal illustrations, 256 
Feminine touches, 30, 45, 311 
Figure compositions, 233 



Figures as the humanizing touch, 57 

"Figurettes," 162 

Fine lines, 129, 131 

"Fixitif," 277 

Flexible trade marks, 159 

Focusing attention, 127 

Framing the text, 76 


"Ghost" technique, 167, 182 
Glorifying homely products, 145 
Graduating tints, 157 
Grease-crayon, 277 
Groupings, 89 


Halftone screens, 156, 278 
Halftone subjects made into line, 

Hand-stippling, 40, 245, 247 
"Heavy" blacks, 131 
Heroic size, 120, 127 
Highlighting, 279 
Historical themes, 299 
Homely products beautified, 140, 

249, 266, 316 
Humaji interest, 187, 233, 240, 236 
Humorous motifs, 56, 291 

Idealization in picture form, 45, 141 
Ideas for the illustration, 4 
Illastrations which require no text, 

Illustrative borders, 72 
Illustrative style, 248, 250, 251 
Imagination in the picture, 172, 240 
Imaginative appeal, 136 
Inanimate objects humanized, 138, 

"Inference" illustrations, 185, 187 
Infinite detail, 45, 246 
Insignias, 159, 160 

Judging techniques, 26 
Justifying the illustration, 2 

Laj^outs, 15 

Light in the illustration, 57, 311 
Light used to animate, 139 
"Look-down" views, 114 


Mannerism, 30 

Marginal areas, 92, 96 

Materials for drawing, 11 

Mechanical shading, 282 

Mediums, 32 

Melodramatic action, 176, 198, 215 

Models, 232 

Monograms, 163 

Monotony, 35 

Mortises, 77 


Naturalistic studies, 57 194, 229 
Negative illustrations, 192, 199 
News atmosphere, 146 


Objective of the illustration, 2, 4 

Obligations of the campaign, 209 

Obvious ideas, 214 

Odd techniques, 107, 133, 284 

Originals, 135 

Outline style, 128, 133 

Overlays, 288 


Packages, 212 

Papers, 32, 258, 272, 285 

Pedigree, 44 

Pen-and-ink, 46, 242, 268 

Pencil drawings, 272, 273, 275 

Pen drawings from photographs, 

Perspective, 109, 112, 268 
Phantoms, 165, 166 
Photography, 2, 11, 309 
Plots for pictures, 55. 183, 236 



Portraits, 227, 315 
Poster technique, 206, 210, 312 
Poster value, 201 
Precision of line, 255 
Preliminary sketches, 6, 11 
Printability, 135, 268 
Product dominant, 213 
"Pure outline," 132 


Realism, 44 

Reduction, 8 

Relation of picture to text, 190, 195 

Repetition, 271 

Reproduction, 33, 267, 286 

Restraint, 235 

Retouching, 137, 138, 144 

Rough sketches, 6, 7 

Skeletonized technique, 132 
Still-life, 151 
Style, 29 

Superimposing, 74 
Symbols, 37, 38, 164, 171 

Techniques, 28, 43, 256, 272 
Tentative sketches, 9 
Text as applied to illustrations, 5 
Themes for pictures, 23 
Tie-up with the product, 151 
Topical subjects, 196, 220 
Trade marks, 75, 159, 162 
Typographical set-up as related to 
picture, 1 1 


Same-size sketches, 6 
Saturation point, 49 
Scenarios, 142, 182, 238 
Scientific layout, 19 
Segregation, 99 
Selling idea, 22 
Serialization, 180, 301, 308 
Silhouettes, 105 
Silverprints, 134, 252, 270 

Value of white space, 91, 99 
Vignetting, 153, 158 
Visualizer, 8, 12, 153 
Vogues, 21 


Wash drawings, 26, 216, 235 
When to illustrate, 3 
White areas, 91, 95, 98 
Wood-cut techniques, 46, 255